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STERNE, Laurence (1713--1768)
[Tristram Shandy. 1772]
The life and opinions of Tristram Shandy, gentleman, ... The ninth edition.
London:, printed for J. Dodsley,, 1772--1773.
6 vols ; 16.2 cm. (8º)
I: [4], 228 p., engr. frontis. pl.
II: 238, [2] p.
III: [4], 20, 23--248 p., [1] marbled pl.
IV: [4], 224 p.
V: [2], 222 p. : wdcut illus.
VI: [6], 205, [1] p. : wdcut illus.

Soane was evidently fond of Sterne, quoting from Tristram Shandy and A sentimental journey (of which he owned four copies in English and French) in his lectures, and the inscription 'ALAS POOR FANNY' on the tomb in the Monk's Courtyard at Lincoln's Inn Fields, memorialising Mrs Soane's dog, is a play on the epitaph of Parson Yorick's grave, 'Alas poor YORICK', set out typographically in a ruled box. The work was published anonymously with the author's name appearing only in the dedication to vol. IV. The first two volumes of Laurence Sterne's comic masterpiece were first published in 1759 (imprint date 1760), and their immediate success led the publisher Robert Dodsley to pay Sterne for the copyright to a second edition and for the next instalment. Volumes III and IV were issued in 1761, but before the third instalment comprising volumes V and VI was printed, Sterne had cut his ties with Dodsley and the new volumes were published in late 1761 (imprint date 1762) by T. Becket and P.A. De Hondt, who published volumes VII--VIII in 1765 and the final ninth volume in 1767. In the present edition, volumes IV--VI bear the imprint: 'Printed for T. Becket'. Volumes I and III are dated 1773, vols II, IV--VI are dated 1772; volumes I--II are of the ninth edition, and vols III--VI are of 'A New Edition'. The frontispiece plate showing Corporal Trim reading the sermon is engraved by S. Ravenet after Hogarth, and first appeared in the second edition of vol. II. Volume II includes publisher's advertisement at the end for 8 works including The sermons of Mr. Yorick, 4 vols; vol. VI includes a publisher's advertisement at the end for 'A Bust Of the late Reverend Mr. Sterne, ... done from a marble one which he sat to at Rome, executed by the famous Noliken'. The well known textual and typographical idiosyncrasies of the novel include missing or unnumbered chapters, blank pages, two black pages in vol. I (sig. E5: pp. 67--68) to mark the death of the village parson Yorick, and an inserted marbled leaf between sigs. C2 and C3 of vol. III (numbered as pp. 21--22) as called for in chapter 6. ESTC t14795.

Copy Notes Imperfect; wanting the [4] pp. dedication 'To A Great Man' in vol. VI (sig. A2). Page reference notes by Soane in pencil, some extensive, on front free-endpapers of all volumes. This is presumably the six-volume set that was sent to Soane in Rome from John Patteson in late 1779, the gift being announced in a letter to Soane from the merchant Claudius Labaume dated Milan, 9 November 1779. (Priv. Corr. XIV.B.1.2). See P. de la Ruffinière du Prey, John Soane's architectural education (New York and London 1977), p. 279.

Binding C18th tree calf, gilt-tooled borders with floral corner pieces, gilt-tooled spine compartments, red and green morocco spine-labels, marbled endpapers. Uniform with vol. 2 of a set of Sterne's A sentimental journey through France and Italy, 1774 (q.v.).

Reference Number 1121

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