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Home » Browse » English literature pre-1900 » [STERNE, Laurence.] - Letters from Yorick to Eliza; [bound after] Sterne’s letters to his friends on various occasions.
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[STERNE, Laurence.]

Letters from Yorick to Eliza; [bound after] Sterne’s letters to his friends on various occasions.

To which is added, his History of a watch coat, with explanatory notes.

Published: London: [1st work] printed for T. Evans; [2nd] for G. Kearsly; and J. Johnson, 1775

Stock code: 70462

Price: £500

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Second London edition (“though not so-named” – Cross) of the Letters from Yorick to Eliza. This genuine correspondence between Sterne and his friend Eliza Draper was later imitated in Letters Supposed to have been Written by Yorick and Eliza (1779) by William Combe, who was also the editor of Sterne’s Letters to His Friends, a combination of authentic and fabricated correspondence. It contains 12 letters, of which three are probably authentic, and one is from John Eustace to Sterne; the others are by Combe, who thereby established himself as a skilful literary imitator. Sterne had died in 1768; his daughter gathered 114 of his letters in three volumes, published in October the same year as these two less respectable volumes.

2 volumes bound in one, small octavo (155 94 mm). Contemporary sprinkled calf, spine with double gilt rules either side of raised bands, red morocco label, red and blue sprinkled edges. Early engraved armorial bookplate (motto “Festina Lente”). A little rubbed, faint offsetting to some leaves, still a fine copy.

Bibliography: 1st named, Cross, pp. 606-607.

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