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Laurence Sterne
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    (November 24, 1713-March 18, 1768)
    Wrote 'Tristam Shandy' (1759-67) and 'A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy' (1768)
    He became a clergyman to take advantage of his family's connections and preferred hunting, painting and fiddling to reading the Gospels.
    He was so emotionally volatile and sentimental that his parishioners considered him 'crack-brained.'
    'Tristam Shandy' was attacked by British authors of the day as 'incoherent' and 'bawdy.'
    'A Sentimental Journey' was placed on the Catholic Church's Index of Forbidden Books.
    Because his father was a soldier, he never lived in one place for longer than a year until he was ten.
    After being sent to grammar school at age ten, he never saw his father again.
    With its frequent digressions and lack of a traditional ending, 'Tristam Shandy' has been described as the 'first modern novel.'
    After his death, his body was stolen from its grave and sold to a medical school. After a friend spotted Sterne's body on the dissecting table, he was discretely reburied.

Credit: C. Fishel

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