A singular stroke of eloquence: Tristram Shandy’s typography

Peter de Voogd


Between 1759 and 1767 Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy presented the reader with four major typographical oddities: two black pages, a hand-marbled coloured leaf, a series of squiggly woodcuts, and a woodcut depicting a flourish. This article describes the technical difficulties these non-verbal textual elements present to publishers of Sterne’s masterpiece, and argues that they are interconnected.


Laurence Sterne; Tristram Shandy; typography; print culture

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