Portrait engraving of Laurence Sterne.

STERNE, Laurence.

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1859. Engraving, 22 x 14 cm in passe-partout. - Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, No. 712. Laurence Sterne (24 November 1713 - 18 March 1768) was an Anglo-Irish novelist and an Anglican clergyman. He is best known for his novels The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, and A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy; but he also published many sermons, wrote memoirs, and was involved in local politics. Sterne died in London after years of fighting consumption. Laurence Sterne was born 24 November 1713 in Clonmel, County Tipperary. His father, Roger Sterne, was an Ensign in a British regiment recently returned from Dunkirk. Roger's regiment was disbanded on the day of Sterne’s birth, and within six months the family had returned to Yorkshire in northern England. In July 1715, the family moved back to Ireland, having "decamped with Bag & Baggage for Dublin", in Sterne's words. - The first decade of Sterne’s life was spent moving from place to place as his father was reassigned throughout Ireland. During this period Sterne never lived in one place for more than a year. In addition to Clonmel and Dublin, his family also lived in, among other places, Wicklow Town, Annamoe (County Wicklow), Drogheda (County Louth), Castlepollard (County Westmeath), and Carrickfergus (County Antrim). In 1724, his father took Sterne to Roger's wealthy brother, Richard, so that Sterne could attend Hipperholme Grammar School near Halifax; Sterne never saw his father again as Roger was ordered to Jamaica where he died of a fever in 1731. Sterne was admitted to a sizarship at Jesus College, Cambridge, in July 1733 at the age of 20. His great-grandfather Richard Sterne had been the Master of the college as well as the Archbishop of York. Sterne graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in January 1737; and returned in the summer of 1740 to be awarded his Master of Arts degree. - Sterne seems to have been destined to become a clergyman, and was ordained as a deacon in March 1737 and as a priest in August, 1738. Shortly thereafter Sterne was awarded the vicarship living of Sutton-on-the-Forest in Yorkshire (1713-1768). Sterne married Elizabeth Lumley in 1741. Both were ill with consumption. In 1743, he was presented to the neighbouring living of Stillington by Rev. Richard Levett, Prebendary of Stillington, who was patron of the living. Subsequently Sterne did duty both there and at Sutton. He was also a prebendary of York Minster. Sterne’s life at this time was closely tied with his uncle, Dr. Jaques Sterne, the Archdeacon of Cleveland and Precentor of York Minster. Sterne’s uncle was an ardent Whig, and urged Sterne to begin a career of political journalism which resulted in some scandal for Sterne and, eventually, a terminal falling-out between the two men. - Jaques Sterne was a powerful clergyman but a mean-tempered man and a rabid politician. In 1741-42 Sterne wrote political articles supporting the administration of Sir Robert Walpole for a newspaper founded by his uncle but soon withdrew from politics in disgust. His uncle became his archenemy, thwarting his advancement whenever possible. - Sterne lived in Sutton for twenty years, during which time he kept up an intimacy which had begun at Cambridge with John Hall-Stevenson, a witty and accomplished bon vivant, owner of Skelton Hall in the Cleveland district of Yorkshire. Without Stevenson, Sterne might have been a more decorous parish priest, but then might never have written Tristram Shandy. - In 1759, to support his dean in a church squabble, Sterne wrote A Political Romance (later called The History of a Good Warm Watch-Coat), a Swiftian satire of dignitaries of the spiritual courts. At the demands of embarrassed churchmen, the book was burned. Thus, Sterne lost his chances for clerical advancement but discovered his real talents; until the completion of this first work, "he hardly knew that he could write at all, much less with humour so as to make his reader laugh". - Having discove. N° de ref. de la librería 54993

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Título: Portrait engraving of Laurence Sterne.

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