A Sentimental Journey is a novel without a plot, a journey without a destination. It records the adventures of the amiable Parson Yorick, as he sets off on his travels through France and Italy, relishing his encounters with all manner of men and women-particularly the pretty ones. Sterne's tale rapidly moves away from the narrative of travel to become a series of dramatic sketches, ironic incidents, philosophical musings, reminiscences, and anecdotes; sharp wit is mixed with gaiety, irony with tender feeling. With A Sentimental Journey, as well as his masterpiece, Tristram Shandy, Sterne forged a truly original style and established himself as the first of the stream-of-consciousness writers.
This new Penguin Classics edition features an introduction that discusses the novel in relation to Sterne's other writing and places it within the context of "sentimental" literature. Also included are a chronology, suggestions for further reading, and full explanatory notes.