A Sentimental Painting 2018

Posted on 5 November 2018

To mark the 250th anniversary of the death of novelist Laurence Sterne, Professor Jon Mee has made a film with the Laurence Sterne Trust and the York Festival Ideas.


This year marks the 250th anniversary of the death of novelist Laurence Sterne and of the publication of his last book, A Sentimental Journey.

One of the most distinctive figures of 18th-century literature, Sterne has strong associations with York, working as a clergyman at the nearby village of Coxwold. The first two volumes of his most famous novel, The Life and Opinion of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, were published in York at the end of 1759 and sold by John Hinxman of Stonegate, successor to John Hildyard, who had published some of Sterne’s earlier writing.

Coinciding with the opening of a new exhibition on A Sentimental Journey in Coxwold, Jon Mee of the University of York, Patrick Wildgust of Shandy Hall, Nick Thurston of the University of Leeds and Caleb Klaces of York St John University, explain in this film why, for Sterne, life really was a sentimental journey.

Jon Mee is a Professor of Eighteenth-Century Studies in the English Department at the University of York 

Patrick Wildgust is the Curator at the Laurence Sterne Trust at Shandy Hall, Coxwold.

Nick Thurston is a Lecturer at the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds.

Caleb Klaces is a Lecturer in Creative Writing and English Literature with York St John University’s School of Humanities, Religion and Philosophy.