34 Facts About Laurence Sterne


Laurence Sterne was an Anglo-Irish novelist and Anglican cleric who wrote the novels The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman and A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy, published sermons and memoirs, and indulged in local politics.


Laurence Sterne grew up in a military family, travelling mainly in Ireland but briefly in England.


Laurence Sterne attended Jesus College, Cambridge on a sizarship, gaining bachelor's and master's degrees.


Laurence Sterne travelled to France to find relief from persistent tuberculosis, documenting his travels in A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy, published weeks before his death.


Laurence Sterne died in 1768 and was buried in the yard of St George's, Hanover Square.


Laurence Sterne's body was said to have been stolen after burial and sold to anatomists at Cambridge University, but was recognised and reinterred.


Laurence Sterne's father, Roger Sterne, was an ensign in a British regiment recently returned from Dunkirk.


Roger Laurence Sterne left his family and enlisted in the army at the age of 25; he enlisted uncommissioned, which was unusual for someone from a family of high social position.


Roger Laurence Sterne married Agnes Hobert, the widow of a military captain.


The first decade of Laurence Sterne's life was spent from place to place, as his father was regularly reassigned to a new garrison.


Laurence Sterne never saw his father again as Roger was ordered to Jamaica where he died of malaria in 1731.


Laurence Sterne's religion is said to have been the "centrist Anglicanism of his time", known as "latitudinarianism".


Laurence Sterne had previously written anonymous propaganda for the York Gazetteer from 1741 to 1742.


Laurence Sterne lived in Sutton for 20 years, during which time he kept up an intimacy that had begun at Cambridge with John Hall-Stevenson, a witty and accomplished bon vivant, owner of Skelton Hall in the Cleveland district of Yorkshire.


Laurence Sterne wrote a religious satire work called A Political Romance in 1759.


At the age of 46, Laurence Sterne dedicated himself to writing for the rest of his life.


Laurence Sterne was at work on his celebrated comic novel during the year that his mother died, his wife was seriously ill, and his daughter was taken ill with a fever.


In 1766, at the height of the debate about slavery, the composer and former slave Ignatius Sancho wrote to Laurence Sterne, encouraging him to use his pen to lobby for the abolition of the slave trade.


Laurence Sterne's widely publicised response to Sancho's letter became an integral part of 18th-century abolitionist literature.


Laurence Sterne continued to struggle with his illness and departed England for France in 1762 in an effort to find a climate that would alleviate his suffering.


Laurence Sterne attached himself to a diplomatic party bound for Turin, as England and France were still adversaries in the Seven Years' War.


Laurence Sterne was gratified by his reception in France, where reports of the genius of Tristram Shandy made him a celebrity.


Laurence Sterne was quickly captivated by Eliza's charm, vivacity, and intelligence, and she did little to discourage his attentions.


Laurence Sterne's admiration turned into an obsession, which he took no trouble to conceal.


In 1768, Laurence Sterne published his Sentimental Journey, which contains some extravagant references to her, and the relationship, though platonic, aroused considerable interest.


Laurence Sterne wrote his Journal to Eliza, part of which he sent to her, and the rest of which came to light when it was presented to the British Museum in 1894.


One was identified to be of a size that matched a bust of Laurence Sterne made by Nollekens.


The works of Laurence Sterne are few in comparison to other eighteenth-century authors of comparable stature.


Laurence Sterne was involved in and wrote about local politics in 1742.


Translations of the work began to appear in all the major European languages almost immediately upon its publication, and Laurence Sterne influenced European writers as diverse as Denis Diderot and the German Romanticists.


Laurence Sterne's work had noticeable influence over Brazilian author Machado de Assis, who made use of the digressive technique in the novel The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas.


Laurence Sterne urges Pitt to retreat with the book from the cares of statecraft.


Many of the innovations that Laurence Sterne introduced, adaptations in form that were an exploration of what constitutes the novel, were highly influential to Modernist writers like James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, and more contemporary writers such as Thomas Pynchon and David Foster Wallace.


Two volumes of Laurence Sterne's Sermons were published during his lifetime; more copies of his Sermons were sold in his lifetime than copies of Tristram Shandy.