A Sentimental Journey by Laurence SterneA furiously witty response to Tobias Smolletts curmudgeonly Travels through France and Italy, Laurence Sternes A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy became a hugely influential work of travel writing in its own right. This Penguin Classics edition includes an introduction and notes by Paul Goring.
When Yorick, the roving narrator of Sternes innovative final novel, sets off for France on a whim, he produces no ordinary travelogue. Jolting along in his coach from Calais, through Paris, and on towards the Italian border, the amiable parson is blithely unconcerned by famous views or monuments, but he engages us with tales of his encounters with all manner of people, from counts and noblewomen to beggars and chambermaids. And as drama piles upon drama, anecdote, flirtation and digression, Yoricks destination takes second place to an exhilarating voyage of emotional and erotic exploration. Interweaving sharp wit with warm humour and irony with genuine feeling, A Sentimental Journey paints a captivating picture of an Englishmans adventures abroad.
In his introduction, Paul Goring discusses Sternes literary career and his semi-autobiographical depiction of Yorick, and sets the novel within the context of eighteenth-century travel writing and the vogue of sentimental fiction. This edition also includes a chronology, updated further reading and notes.
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) graduated from Cambridge in 1737 and took holy orders, becoming a prebend in York Cathedral. His masterpiece, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman made him a celebrity but ill-health necessitated recuperative travel and A Sentimental Journey grew out of a seven-month trip through France and Italy. He died the year it was published, 1768.
If you enjoyed A Sentimental Journey, you might like Sternes The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, also available in Penguin Classics.
A Sentimental Journey
Newbould Laurence Sterne. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy , ed. Katherine Turner. Peterborough, ON: Broadview, Following generally accepted editorial practice, Ms. Distilling the invaluable researches of the Florida editors in footnotes brings students into contact with a scholarly edition that may otherwise be inaccessible to them, and to which other trade copies may not pay tribute as Mr.
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The book, a combination of autobiography, fiction, and travel writing, chronicles the journey through France of a charming and sensitive young man named Yorick and his servant La Fleur. Though the title mentions Italy, the book ends before they reach that country. - Laurence Sterne followed up his excellent Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman with this slim volume. But, despite being an unfinished portion of a planned larger work, it stands well enough on its own.
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It is considered a significant work of English literature because it is one of the earliest entries in the genre of travel writing, which became prominent in the 18th century. Travel writing stressed the observation and description of manners, customs, and character. The novel was written while Sterne was gravely ill, his health failing after years of affliction from tuberculosis. His novel was influenced by a journey he made to France and Naples in , when he accompanied a diplomatic party that was headed towards Turin. Specific details in the novel can be traced to this trip. A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy received favorable reviews when it was first published, although -- given some of the sexual innuendo in the later parts of the work -- some reviewers were disconcerted to find the author a Reverend. Still, many reviewers considered the novel superior to Sterne's earlier success, the satire Tristram Shandy
In , Sterne travelled through France and Italy as far south as Naples , and after returning determined to describe his travels from a sentimental point of view. The novel can be seen as an epilogue to the possibly unfinished work The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman , and also as an answer to Tobias Smollett 's decidedly unsentimental Travels Through France and Italy. Sterne had met Smollett during his travels in Europe, and strongly objected to his spleen, acerbity and quarrelsomeness. He modeled the character of Smelfungus on him. The novel was extremely popular and influential and helped establish travel writing as the dominant genre of the second half of the 18th century. Unlike prior travel accounts which stressed classical learning and objective non-personal points of view, A Sentimental Journey emphasized the subjective discussions of personal taste and sentiments, of manners and morals over classical learning. Throughout the s female travel writers began publishing significant numbers of sentimental travel accounts.