A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy
  • Publication Date: August 25, 2010
  • ISBN: 9781551118888 / 1551118882
  • 264 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy

  • Publication Date: August 25, 2010
  • ISBN: 9781551118888 / 1551118882
  • 264 pages; 5½" x 8½"

The quintessential novel of sentiment, A Sentimental Journey masquerades as the fragmentary travel journal of Parson Yorick, a whimsical and amorous Englishman abroad. Accompanied through Paris and the provinces by his loyal French valet, Yorick enjoys a variety of sentimental and often comic encounters with a lively range of French characters. The novel is also punctuated by passages of self-conscious reflection on questions of personal and national identity, slavery and freedom, poverty and inequality.

Appendices include material on sensibility in philosophy and literature and on eighteenth-century travel writing, as well as excerpts from Sterne’s other writings and examples of the novel’s critical reception, imitation, and illustration.


“This learned and hugely useable new Sentimental Journey provides a wealth of editorial materials that will add to the enjoyment and understanding of readers of all kinds. The approachable introduction is wisely informative not only on A Sentimental Journey but also on Sterne himself, the rise of the novel, travel literature, sensibility, genre, gender, and the work’s influence and afterlife. The explanatory footnotes are thorough and discreetly scholarly. The text is accompanied by an outstandingly rich and pertinent selection of contextualising contemporary documentation. Turner’s edition of A Sentimental Journey will make Sterne’s second novel many new friends.” — Marcus Walsh, University of Liverpool

“Katherine Turner’s comprehensive and superbly written introduction, together with the rich contextual materials, make this the most useful edition of Sterne’s Sentimental Journey in print today. Highly recommended for specialists, students, and general readers—anyone who might enjoy Sterne’s irreverent brilliance.” — James G. Basker, Barnard College, Columbia University

Laurence Sterne: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text

A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy

Appendix A: Sensibility—Philosophical Sources

  1. From John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690)
  2. From George Cheyne, The English Malady: or, a Treatise of Nervous Diseases of all Kinds (1733)
  3. From David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature (1739–40)
  4. From David Hartley, Observations on Man, his Frame, his Duty, and his Expectations (1749)
  5. From Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759)

Appendix B: Sensibility in Literature

  1. “On Sympathy. By a Young Lady” (October 1752)
  2. “Ode to Sensibility” (November 1763)
  3. From Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1759)
  4. From Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1762)
  5. From the Monthly Review (1765)
  6. From Hannah More, “Sensibility: An Epistle to the Honourable Mrs Boscawen” (1782)

Appendix C: Sensibility and Social Reform

  1. From John Doughty, Christian Sympathy (1752)
  2. Correspondence between Sterne and Ignatius Sancho on Slavery (1766)
  3. From Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy (1767)
  4. From Hannah More, Slavery, a Poem (1788)

Appendix D: Sterne’s Didacticism

  1. From Sterne’s Letters (1767)
    1. “To Sir W” (27 September 1767)
    2. From a Letter to Mrs William James (12 November 1767)
    3. From a Letter to “the Earl of ——” (28 November 1767)
  2. From Laurence Sterne, The Sermons of Mr. Yorick (1760)

Appendix E: Travel Writing

  1. From Thomas Nugent, The Grand Tour (1749)
  2. From Tobias Smollett, Travels through France and Italy (1766)
    1. From Letter V
    2. From Letter VII
  3. From Samuel Sharp, Letters from Italy (1766)
    1. From Letter XI
    2. From Letter XVII
    3. From Letter XXXVIII
  4. From Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy (1765)
    1. From Chapter IV
    2. From Chapter XLIV
  5. From Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy (1767)

Appendix F: Contemporary Reviews and Evaluations (1767)

  1. From the Critical Review (1768)
  2. From the Monthly Review (1768)
  3. “On the Death of Yorick,” London Magazine (June 1768)
  4. From Sentiments on the Death of the Sentimental Yorick (1768)

Appendix G: Imitations of A Sentimental Journey

  1. From [Samuel Paterson], Another Traveller! (1768)
  2. From the Review of Another Traveller!, Critical Review (1768)
  3. From the Review (by Ralph Griffiths) of Another Traveller!, Monthly Review (1768)
  4. From Yorick’s Sentimental Journey Continued (1768 or 1769)
  5. From Cornelius Cayley, A Tour through Holland, Flanders, and Part of France (1773)
  6. From Continuation of Yorick’s Sentimental Journey (1788)

Appendix H: A Sentimental Journey Anthologized and Illustrated

  1. From The Beauties of Sterne (1782)
  2. Illustrations from Early Editions of A Sentimental Journey
    1. “The Snuff Box” (1794)
    2. “Maria” (1794)
    3. “Yorick and the Monk Exchanging Snuff Boxes” (1792)
    4. “Yorick and the Starling” (1792)
    5. “The Grace” (1795)
    6. “I Could Not Sustain the Picture of Confinement which my Fancy Had Drawn” (1802)
    7. “The Temptation” (1803)
    8. “Maria” (1803)
  3. “Poor Maria”—Wedgwood Medallion (c. 1785)

Appendix I: Some Later Critiques

  1. From John Wesley, The Journal of John Wesley (1772)
  2. From Vicesimus Knox, Essays Moral and Literary (1782)
  3. From William Wilberforce, A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the
    Higher and Middle Classes, Contrasted with Real Christianity
  4. From Hannah More, Coelebs in Search of a Wife (1808)

Select Bibliography

Katherine Turner is Associate Professor of English at Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, Virginia.