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Laurence STERNE

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Item#: 126255 price:$28,000.00

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FIRST EDITIONS OF THE WORKS OF STERNE, WITH FULL FIRST EDITION TRISTRAM SHANDY THRICE SIGNED, UNIFORMLY AND BEAUTIFULLY BOUND BY RIVIERE

STERNE, Laurence. Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. Nine volumes. WITH: The Sermons of Mr. Yorick. Seven volumes. WITH: A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy. Two volumes. WITH: Letters of the Late Rev. Mr. Laurence Sterne to His Most Intimate Friends. Three volumes. London: R. and J. Dodsley et al., 1760-67, 1766-69, 1768, 1775. Twenty-one volumes in all. Small octavo, 20th-century full speckled calf, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, burgundy and green morocco spine labels, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $28,000.

First editions of the principal works and letters of Sterne, with three volumes of Tristram Shandy signed by Sterne as is called for in first edition copies. Beautifully bound in full mottled calf gilt by Riviere and Son. A splendid first edition collection.

Tristram Shandy's huge popular success made Sterne, a Yorkshire parson, the toast of the London literary world. When some volumes were pirated, Sterne began signing some genuine editions of his work. This set is signed by Sterne on the first page of Volumes V, VII and IX, as is usual in first editions. "Sterne is generally acknowledged as an innovator of the highest originality, and has been seen as the chief begetter of a long line of writers interested in the 'stream-of-consciousness" (Drabble, 937). Among these must be numbered Joyce, who wrote regarding Finnegan's Wake, "I, after all, am trying to tell the story of this Chapelizod family in a new way… Only I am trying to build many planes of narrative with a single esthetic purpose. Did you ever read Laurence Sterne?" (Ellman, 554). "[Sterne] remains, as the author of Tristram Shandy, a delineator of the comedy of human life before whom only three or four humorous writers, in any tongue or of any age, can justly claim precedence… he deserves many of the honours that have been paid to Pope and Swift" (DNB XVIII: 1106). Full first edition set of Tristram Shandy; with engraved frontispieces in Volumes I and III; half titles in Volumes IV, V, VI, and IX. Volume VII is in the first state, with errata on the verso of the title page. Engraved frontispiece in Volume I of Sermons and Volume I of Letters. Rothschild 1970, 1971, 1974. One Hundred Best Books 53. Lowndes, 2509-10. Allibone, 2242-44.

Four volumes with expert repairs to joints. A beautiful set of first editions in fine condition.

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