The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman [eight volumes of the nine-volume set, with three volumes signed by the author]. Laurence STERNE.
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman [eight volumes of the nine-volume set, with three volumes signed by the author]
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman [eight volumes of the nine-volume set, with three volumes signed by the author]
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman [eight volumes of the nine-volume set, with three volumes signed by the author]
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman [eight volumes of the nine-volume set, with three volumes signed by the author]
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman [eight volumes of the nine-volume set, with three volumes signed by the author]
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman [eight volumes of the nine-volume set, with three volumes signed by the author]

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman [eight volumes of the nine-volume set, with three volumes signed by the author]

London, R. & J. Dodsley (Volumes 2, 3 and 4) and T. Becket and P.A. Dehondt (all other volumes), 1760 (Volume 2), 1761 (Volumes 3 and 4), 1762 (Volumes 5 and 6), 1765 (Volumes 7 and 8), and 1767 (Volume 9); Volume 2 is the fourth edition, all others are first editions.

Octavo, 8 volumes (of 9, lacking Volume 1); Volume 3 contains the engraved plate by Ravanet after Hogarth as the frontispiece, and the marbled leaf between L4 and L5 (the pagination is continuous - pages 169-170).

Contemporary full vellum; spines gilt in compartments, with later (19th century) red and olive-green labels (one chipped, revealing an earlier label beneath, and indicating that all but one is an early replacement); edges sprinkled red; covers soiled, rubbed and bowed, with some worming to the spines; occasional moderate worming to the text; plate shaved at the leading edge; bound without half titles (although they are not called for in every volume); a good set.

Volumes 5, 7 and 9 are signed in ink on B1 in each instance by the author ('L. Sterne'), as usual, reportedly in an effort to suppress pirated editions. The marbled leaf is emblematic of Sterne's self-conscious and playful mixing of text and book design. On the opposite page he addresses his 'unlearned reader', saying 'I tell you before-hand, you had better throw down the book at once; for without much reading, by which your reverence knows, I mean much knowledge, you will no more be able to penetrate the moral of the next marbled page (motly [sic] emblem of my work!) than the world with all its sagacity has been able to unraval [sic] the many opinions, transactions and truths which still lie mystically hid under the dark veil of the black one' (referring to a black leaf in the volume missing from this set).

Item #112136

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