Yorick’s Meditations upon various interesting and important Subjects. Viz. Upon Nothing. Upon Something. Upon the Thing. Upon the Constitution. On Tobacco. On Noses. Upon Quacks. Upon Midwives. Upon the Homunculus. Upon Hobby-Horses. Upon Momus’s Glass. Upon Digressions. On Obscurity in Writing. On Nonsense. Upon the Association of Ideas. Upon Cuckolds. Upon the Man in the Moon. Upon the Monades of Leibnitz. Upon Virtú. Upon Conscience. Upon a Close-Stool. Meditations upon Meditations …

London: Printed for R. Stevens … 1760.

Small 8vo. in fours, pp. [2], 110; a little soiling but a good copy in old sheep, rubbed, rebacked, free endpapers renewed.

£1200

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First edition. The first two volumes of Tristram Shandy had no more than come off the press when ‘all Grub Street broke loose at [Sterne’s] heels’ (Cross, p. 227). Among the deluge of pamphlets ‘something better’ is to be found in Yorick’s Meditations and a second work by the same author, A Supplement to the Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, ‘“the best ape,” said the London Magazine, “of the original Shandy we have yet seen”’ (ibid., pp. 228-9).

The anonymous author – could it be John Hall Stevenson? – has clearly been an attentive and sympathetic reader of Shandy, and if ‘Yorick has something to say upon every subject’ (p. 107), these are often subjects that echo themes found in the novel.

ESTC finds five copies in the UK, and six in the USA: Harvard, Yale, NYPL, Indiana, UCLA and Colonial Williamsburg.

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