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STERNE, Laurence (1713--1768)
[Sermons. Vols 1-2. 1775]
The sermons of Mr. Yorick. Vol. I (II). The twelfth edition.
London: printed for J. Dodsley, 1775.
2 vols ; 15.1 cm. (8º)
I: xi, [5], 207, [1] p. : engr. frontis. port.
II: 216 p.

Each volume has a half title reading 'Sermons By Laurence Sterne, ...'. Volumes I and II of The sermons of Mr. Yorick were first published by R. and J. Dodsley in 1760, with third and fourth volumes being issued by T. Becket and P.A. De Hondt in 1766. The figure of Parson Yorick first appears as a character in the first volume of Sterne's hugely popular novel The life and opinions of Tristram Shandy, gentleman (q.v.), the first two volumes of which were published anonymously in 1759. Sterne evidently felt at home in this new identity, publishing his own sermons under the pseudonym of Yorick and later using the name for the protagonist of A sentimental journey through France and Italy, first published in 1768 (q.v.). In vol. I the preface and contents precede the half-title (sig. B1). Frontispiece engraving after Sir Joshua Reynolds by J. Collyer. Contents: Sermons I--XV. ESTC t14819.

Copy Notes Volume I inscribed on the title-page in ink John Soane 1778, the final 'e' added after 1783. Bound as volumes I--II in a six-volume set of Sterne's sermons with 'A New Edition' of volumes III--VI, 1776 (q.v.). A note on the endpaper of his sketchbook 'Notes Italy and Italian Language' (SM Vol 162) records that '6 vol. of Stern's Sermons' and '19 vol of Gianelli's [i.e. Giannone's] History of Naples' (q.v.) were 'Sent to England in Mr. Burdon's Box' in August 1779. See P. de la Ruffinière du Prey, John Soane's architectural education (New York and London 1977), p. 239.

Binding C18th calf, gilt-ruled spine, red morocco spine-label, numbered as vols '1' and '2' of a six-volume set.

Reference Number 1099


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