'Love is nothing without feeling. And feeling is still less without love.'
Celebrated in its own day as the progenitor of 'a school of sentimental writers', A Sentimental Journey (1768) has outlasted its many imitators because of the humour and mischievous eroticism that inform Mr Yorick's travels. Setting out to journey to France and Italy he gets little further than Lyons but finds much to appreciate, in contrast to contemporary travel writers whom Sterne satirizes in the figures of Smelfungus and Mundungus. A master of ambiguity and double entendre, Sterne is nevertheless as concerned as his peers with exploring the nature of virtue; unlike other writers of sentimental fiction Sterne insists on the inseparability of desire and feeling.
This new edition includes a selection from The Sermons of Mr Yorick, which shed light on the concerns of the Journey, The Journal to Eliza, which records Sterne's feelings as he languishes for the company of Eliza Draper, and A Political Romance, the satire on a local ecclesiastical squabble that was the catalyst for Sterne's literary career.