Laurence Sterne and William Hogarth in Parallel
by S. Piazza, I. Grassi and I. Mastroianni 








Laurence Sterne (1713-1768)

Laurence Sterne was born at Clonmel in Ireland, the son of an army ensign. From 1723 until his father's death in 1731 he was sent to school in Halifax, Yorkshire, and in 1733 he entered as a sizar at Jesus College, Cambridge, receiving his B.A. in 1737. With the help of his uncle Jacques, precentor and canon of York, Sterne earned his livings. He took holy orders and in 1738 obtained the living of Sutton-in-the-Forest, near York, and a prebend in the cathedral. In 1741 he married, and through his wife's influence received the neighboring benefice of Stillington. Their marriage was generally unhappy. Sterne's literary career began late; his first publication, a pamphlet called A Political Romance, appeared in 1759. In the same year he began his masterpiece, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy. The first two volumes made him a celebrity and he visited London where he was lavishly feted. Between 1761 and 1767 he brought out a further seven volumes. Sterne was dogged by ill-health for much of his life and during his latter years he alternated bouts of being lionized in London. A Sentimental Journey, published in 1768, was created from a seven-month trip through France and Italy. Laurence Sterne died in London in 1768.