Headpiece (uncaptioned) — cameo portrait of Laurence Sterne for "A Biographical Sketch," prefacing A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy, first published in 1768. Wood-engraving, 2.5 cm high by 8.5 cm wide, top of p. i. In the 1841 edition, the illustrators employ an image of a smiling writer, his hand to his face as if in thought, to suggest Sterne's philosophical humour. [Click on images to enlarge them.]

Passage Illustrated

In offering the public STERNE'S inimitable master-piece, "THE SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY," [sic] under a form of superior to any hitherto adopted, it has been deemed advisable, in order to render it still more worthy of attention, to prefix a short account of its justly celebrated author, with a few particulars respecting its characters, which, it is hoped, will not fail to be acceptable to the reader. [p. i]

Relevant illustrations of Laurence Sterne from the 1792 and 1857 editions

Left: Thomas Stothard's study of the author based on a portrait by Joshua Reynolds, Frontispiece (1792). Right: Tony Johannot's fanciful frontispiece in which a genial Laurence Sterne presides iover the characters of his creation. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]


Sterne, Laurence. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy by Mr. Yorick. Illustrated by Thomas Stothard. London: J. Good, No. 159, New Bond Street; and E. and S. Harding, No. 102, Pall Mall, 1792.

Sterne, Laurence. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy. Illustrated with one hundred engravings on wood, by Bastin and G. Nichols, from original designs by Jacque and Fussell. London: Joseph Thomas, 1841.

Sterne, Laurence. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy. With 100 illustrations by Tony Johannot. London: Willoughby, 1857.

Last modified 18 September 2018