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April 14 , 2011

Adaptations of Laurence Sterne's Fiction

Sterneana, 1760–1840


Exploring how readers received and responded to literary works in the long eighteenth century, M-C. Newbould focuses on the role played by Laurence Sterne’s fiction and its adaptations. Literary adaptation flourished throughout the eighteenth century, encouraging an interactive relationship between writers, readers, and artists when well-known works were transformed into new forms across a variety of media. Laurence Sterne offers a particularly dynamic subject: the immense interest provoked by The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman and A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy inspired an unrivalled number and range of adaptations from their initial publication onwards. In placing her examination of Sterneana within the context of its production, Newbould demonstrates how literary adaptation operates across generic and formal boundaries. She breaks new ground by bringing together several potentially disparate aspects of Sterneana belonging to areas of literary studies that include drama, music, travel writing, sentimental fiction and the visual. Her study is a vital resource for Sterne scholars and for readers generally interested in cultural productivity in this period.

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