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Definition: Sentimental Journey through France and Italy, A (1768) from The Bloomsbury Dictionary of English Literature

A narrative, part novel and part travel book, by Laurence Sterne (under the pseudonym of `Mr Yorick'—the same of a character in Sterne's Tristram Shandy), based on his stay in France, 1762-4. It was intended to be longer, but Sterne died after the publication of the first two volumes in 1768.

Summary Article: Sentimental Journey through France and Italy by Mr Yorick, A
from Brewer's Curious Titles

A novel by Laurence Sterne (1713-68), written after his own two journeys to the Continent. Despite the title, the narrator, Parson Yorick (on holiday here from his part in the author's Tristram Shandy), never reaches Italy. The name Yorick is derived from that of the court jester whose skull Hamlet apostrophizes in Shakespeare's play (V.i). The ‘ sentimental’ aspect of the journey derives from the narrator's desire not to sight-see as in the conventional Grand Tour, but to meet with the natives of the places he visits. Yorick himself is an emotional man, being often reduced to tears: ‘ Dear sensibility! source inexhausted of all that's precious in our joys, or costly in our sorrows!’ The parson also has a weakness for the opposite sex:

So that when I stretch'd out my hand, I caught hold of the Fille de Chambre's -

A Sentimental Journey, closing words

© Cassell 2002

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