1761-1767 The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
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An Important Work, First Edition, Leather Binding, Signed
Laurence Sterne has signed volumes V, VII and IX, as called for ,to fight against piracy of this incredibly popular work.
Sterne's work is a humorous and philosophical investigation into the connection between literature and life. A fictional autobiography, this work is also an experiment in the form and structure of printed narratives. Sterne played an important part in the rise of the novel, alongside contemporaries Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson.
The 1763 fifth edition of volumes I and II. Illustrated with an engraved frontispiece to volume I. Page 74 of volume II [E5] is a blacked out 'mourning page', with catchwords between leaves E4 and E6 running correctly.
ESTC Citation No. T153496. These two volumes run , A-L8, M2; A-L8, M4.
The 1761 second edition of volume III. Illustrated with an engraved frontispiece, and with hand-coloured colour marbled leaf inserted between L4 and L5, as called for, which is a 'motley emblem' of Tristram's work
ESTC Citation No. T147052. Running A-M8, N4. Monkman III-1d.
The concealed 1761 second edition of volume IV, distinguished by the correct spelling of "fancy" on p.73; in the first edition the word is mis-spelt "facy". ESTC no. N19729. The pagination skips ten pages due to Tristram stating he has 'torn out' a chapter, however the signatures are continuous; , B-O8, P2.
The 1762 first edition of volumes V and VI, with Sterne's signature to the first page of chapter I of volume V. ESTC No. T14706. Running , B-K8, L3; , B-K8, L6.
The 1765 first editions of volumes VII and VIII, with Sterne's signature to the first page of chapter I of volume VII. ESTC No. T14820. Signatures running , B-L8; , B-K8, L6
And finally, the 1767 first edition of volume IX. ESTC no. T14824, with Sterne's signature to the first page of chapter I. With signatures running  B-K8.
With half titles to volumes IV, V, VI and IX.
With the armorial bookplate of John Balguy to each front pastedown. With a contemporary inscription to the recto of a front blank of volume I, reading 'Charlotte Balguy, the gift of her father'.
An exceptional set of Sterne's most influential work, viewed as key to the development of the English novel.
Rebacked, in full calf bindings with gilt detailing to back strips, and with original boards restored. Externally, lovely, though volume number label to volume IX is lacking. Armorial bookplates to each front pastedown. Internally, firmly bound. Pages a touch age toned due to paper type, but otherwise exceptionally clean and bright.
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