London: Reprinted and sold by all booksellers in town and country, 1791. Item #04791
Laurence Sterne's Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy
In a Wonderful Turn-of-the Century Inlaid Binding by Salvatore David
DAVID, Salvatore, binder. STERNE, Laurence. Yorick's Sentimental Journey though France and Italy, &c. London: Reprinted and sold by all booksellers in town and country, 1791.
Later edition. Four parts in one twelvemo volume (6 11/16 x 4 inches; 170 x 101 mm.). [ii], 279, [1, blank] pp. Six plates including frontispiece engraved by Stothard. Two stipple portraits 'Maria' and 'The Monk' engraved by Taylor after S. Shelley.
Bound ca. 1900 by Salvatore David (stamped signed "S. David" on front turn-in). Full dark green crushed levant morocco, covers richly bordered in gilt with an inlaid red morocco strip surrounding an elaborate floral and basket-weave design inlaid in red morocco and stamped in gilt. Sine with five raised bands, decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in comaprtments with inlaid red morocco flowers. Double gilt-ruled board edges, red morocco liners elaborately decorated in gilt in a similar design. Cream embroidered silk endleaves with marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. A superlative example in perfect condition. Housed in it's original fleece-lined marbled slipcase with morocco tips and fore-edge. With the engraved bookplate of collector Horace G. Young of Worcester, Mass., on the rear marbled endleaf.
Salvatore David (1859-1929) "was the son of Bernard David, a noted Second Empire binder-gilder who worked for [Leon] Gruel before establishing his own atelier in 1855. On his father's retirement in 1890, David took over the bindery and initially applied a similar, classically inspired range of ornaments to his covers. But by 1900, after applying himself to the production of commercial and library bindings without much success, he turned to éditions de luxe, which he decorated with a blend of gold fillets and garlanded flowers in a compelling and original manner. In 1907, he moved his shop from 12 rue Guénégaud to 49 rue le Peletier, where he remained until his death. Important collectors of his work included René Descamps-Scrive and Freund-Deschamps" (Duncan & De Bartha, Art Nouveau and Art Deco Bookbinding, French Masterpieces 1880-1940, pp. 189-190).
A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy is a novel by Laurence Sterne, written and first published in 1768, as Sterne was facing death. In 1765, Sterne traveled through France and Italy as far south as Naples, and after returning determined to describe his travels from a sentimental point of view. The novel can be seen as an epilogue to the possibly unfinished work The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, and also as an answer to Tobias Smollett's decidedly unsentimental Travels Through France and Italy. Sterne had met Smollett during his travels in Europe, and strongly objected to his spleen, acerbity and quarrelsomeness. He modeled the character of Smelfungus on him. Smelfungus was the name given by Laurence Sterne to Tobias Smollett as author of a volume of Travels through France and Italy, for the snarling abuse he heaps on the institutions and customs of the countries he visited.
The term "smellfungus" thereafter passed into broader use to describe a grumbling traveller, and might even be applied to a faultfinder in general. In the 19th century Smelfungus was adopted by Thomas Carlyle as a pen-name when he had any seriously severe criticisms to offer on things, particularly those that have gone or are going to the bad. Patrick Proctor Alexander also used the name in his book Mill and Carlyle, which contrasted Carlyle's views with those of John Stuart Mill. Proctor's Occasional Discourse on Sauertieg by Smelfungus attacks Carlyle's more brutal ideas.
The novel was extremely popular and influential and helped establish travel writing as the dominant genre of the second half of the 18th century. Unlike prior travel accounts which stressed classical learning and objective non-personal points of view, A Sentimental Journey emphasized the subjective discussions of personal taste and sentiments, of manners and morals over classical learning. Throughout the 1770s female travel writers began publishing significant numbers of sentimental travel accounts. Sentiment also became a favorite style among those expressing non-mainstream views, including political radicalism.
The narrator is the Reverend Mr. Yorick, who is slyly represented to guileless readers as Sterne's barely disguised alter ego. The book recounts his various adventures, usually of the amorous type, in a series of self-contained episodes. The book is less eccentric and more elegant in style than Tristram Shandy and was better received by contemporary critics. It was first published on 27 February, and on 18 March Sterne died.