Laurence Sterne’s great comic novel is the fictional autobiography of Tristram Shandy. It contains some of the best-loved characters in English literature, including Uncle Toby, Corporal Trim, Parson Yorick, Dr Slop and the Widow Wadman.
Beginning with Tristram’s conception, the novel recounts his progress in ‘this scurvy and disasterous world of ours’, including his misnaming during baptism. Tristram declares that he has been ‘the continual sport of what the world calls Fortune’.
Progression by Digression
In many ways The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman is a maddening book. It is funny, of course, but also eccentric, anarchic and longwinded; and it’s hard to understand why it...Read more