The Letters of Laurence Sterne: Part One, 1739–1764
Volume 7 of the Florida Edition of the Works of Laurence Sterne

Laurence Sterne, edited by Melvyn New and Peter de Voogd

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The culmination of more than forty years of research

"Establishes a newly authoritative and fully documented text of all remaining letters, based on fresh examination of the relevant manuscript and early printed sources and implementing, with unflagging rigor, state of the art editorial practice. Annotation is clear, astute, and comprehensive, and draws with exemplary command on the mass of biographical, bibliographical, and other scholarship that has transformed our understanding of Sterne and the culture he inhabited."--Thomas Keymer, University of Toronto

"The editors have done a splendid job of annotating the letters with clarity while maintaining the highest levels of scholarship and learning. Their introduction is clear, candid, thoughtful, and informative. Their treatment of the vexed problems of the edition is a model of intelligent modern editing practice."--Robert Folkenflik, University of California, Irvine (emeritus)

These two volumes, the seventh and eighth in the heralded Florida Edition of the Works of Laurence Sterne, offer the first collection of Sterne's letters in seventy-five years. Thirty new letters have been added, and all have been carefully and precisely reedited, making this the most accurate edition of his letters ever produced.

The correspondence is thoroughly keyed to Sterne's published output, much of which has previously been edited by Melvyn New. New and coeditor Peter de Voogd also make major use of Arthur Cash's landmark biography of Sterne. The result is a work that securely establishes the literary as well as biographical significance of Sterne's letters.

Sterne remains one of the towering figures of eighteenth-century life and literature, and a continuing influential presence in the canon of modern western fiction. Among those who have praised his writings are Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Salman Rushdie, Gabriel García Márquez, Vladimir Nabokov, Milan Kundera, and most recently, the Turkish Nobel Prize recipient Orhan Pamuk.

Melvyn New is professor emeritus of English at the University of Florida. Peter de Voogd is professor emeritus of English at the University of Utrecht.

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"The letters of a considerable author are now available in the best state that can be easily imagined, which makes this volume a fitting tribute to Sterne's genius and a worthy culmination of the rise to fame that started in 1759."
--The New Criterion

"These volumes, finely edited, give ample scope to judge whether that imagination is a lens onto a wider world or a self-pleasing pin-hole on himself."

"The editors have done all one could ask to produce accurate and comprehensive texts for future scholarly work. Indispensable for researchers."
--Library Journal

"The most noteworthy scholarly editions this year were the 7th and 8th volumes of The Florida Edition of the Works of Laurence Sterne. With these volumes, the Florida edition of Sterne's writing--the standard for the field--has now moved from the fiction and sermons to the letters. Volume 7 covers 1739-64, and Volume 8 covers 1765-68. Edited by Melvyn New and Peter de Voogd, the volumes should replace Lewis Perry Curtis's Clarendon edition of Sterne's letters from 1935. New and Voogd have discovered twenty-five new letters, fleshed out the annotation with information from Arthur Cash's two-volume biography (Methuen, 1975, 1985), and paid vigorous attention to the vagaries of Sterne's hand. The editorial principles are scrupulous, the scholarship impeccable. We are in debt to New and his various collaborators for putting together a scholarly Sterne for our age."
--Studies in English Literature 50:3

"The seventh and eighth volumes of the Florida Edition of Sterne's works compromis the first collection of his correspondence in seventy-five years, with the addition of thirty "new" letters. The edition includes 248 letters written by Sterne, from 1739 until his deah in 1768, as well as an appendix of 52 letters "pertaining to Sterne and his family", with many of these composed by Sterne's wife and daughter on matters of business related to the author's posthumous affairs. A new edition of that curiously "modern" writer, Laurence Sterne, for a twenty-century readership."-- Wendy Jones Nakanishi for English Studies
--English Studies

"After more than forty years as an eminent literary scholar and the principal founder of the Florida Edition of the Works of Laurence Sterne, Mr. New, together with his colleague Mr. De Voogd, has provided us with yet another meticulously annotated and carefully presented clean text of this author's writings that is likely to remain the standard for future generations. This new edition provides far more information than Curtis and greatly enlarges the reader's understanding of a particular letter. Compared to Curtis, engaging with this much expanded edition is sometimes like turning from a light lunch to an orgy of haute cuisine.
--The Scriblerian

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