A Culture of Mimicry
Laurence Sterne, His Readers and the Art of Bodysnatching

Warren L. Oakley

MHRA Texts and Dissertations 73

Modern Humanities Research Association

6 September 2010  •  152pp

ISBN: 978-1-839545-85-6 (hardback)  •  RRP £49.99, $63.99, €57.99

ISBN: 978-1-839545-86-3 (paperback)  •  RRP £16.99, $22.99, €19.99

ISBN: 978-1-781880-62-3 (JSTOR ebook)

Access online: Books@JSTOR

EnlightenmentEnglishFiction


After his death in 1768, the famous novelist Laurence Sterne did not rest undisturbed in his grave. While rumours of the theft and dissection of Sterne’s corpse circulated in the anatomy schools, numerous writers took possession of his literary body of work. New forms of Sternean entertainment were produced by literary mimics who impersonated the author through the medium of print, impersonations which included startling and unique interpretations of Sterne’s character and fiction.

Warren Oakley introduces two new critical concepts to eighteenth-century literary study, ‘bodysnatching’ and ‘mimicry’, to understand these texts that have been neglected and overlooked in Sterne studies. This lucid account reveals the personal stories of such literary mimics, the creative techniques they employed and the consequences of their actions upon the posthumous perception of Sterne, the man and his ‘cadaverous goods’.

The first hardback printing of this title was issued as ISBN 978-1-906540-21-0, but it is now out of print. It was transferred to digital printing in February 2024, and is now available again in both hardback and paperback.

Warren L. Oakley is a Postdoctoral Tutor at the School of English, University of Leeds.

Reviews:

  • ‘A brief but fascinating study of the appropriations of Sterne's fiction.’ — Devoney Looser, Studies in English Literature 51.3, 2011, 713-14
  • ‘Sterne's body was snatched after his death, turned up in an operating theatre, was recognized, and reburied. As Warren Oakley makes very clear in this brilliant dissertation, it was not only his corpse but also his corpus (in the sense of literary output) which underwent remarkable transformations.’ — Peter de Voogd, The Shandean 22, 2011, 168-70

Contents:

i-iii

Front Matter
Warren Oakley
doi:10.2307/j.ctt2tt864.1

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iv-v

Table of Contents
Warren Oakley
doi:10.2307/j.ctt2tt864.2

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vi-vi

Acknowledgements
Warren Oakley
doi:10.2307/j.ctt2tt864.3

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vii-vii

List of Illustrations
Warren Oakley
doi:10.2307/j.ctt2tt864.4

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1-28

Chapter 1 Articulating Sterne
Warren Oakley
doi:10.2307/j.ctt2tt864.5

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29-52

Chapter 2 Garrick and Literary Mimicry
Warren Oakley
doi:10.2307/j.ctt2tt864.6

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53-76

Chapter 3 the Redeployment of Uncle Toby
Warren Oakley
doi:10.2307/j.ctt2tt864.7

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77-106

Chapter 4 Erotic Yorick, the Man of Feeling
Warren Oakley
doi:10.2307/j.ctt2tt864.8

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107-126

Chapter 5 William Combe, Esq., Sterne’s ‘Dear Boy’
Warren Oakley
doi:10.2307/j.ctt2tt864.9

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127-130

CODA Tristram Shandy and Fooling Around
Warren Oakley
doi:10.2307/j.ctt2tt864.10

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131-144

Bibliography
Warren Oakley
doi:10.2307/j.ctt2tt864.11

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145-150

INDEX
Warren Oakley
doi:10.2307/j.ctt2tt864.12

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Bibliography entry:

Oakley, Warren L., A Culture of Mimicry: Laurence Sterne, His Readers and the Art of Bodysnatching, MHRA Texts and Dissertations, 73 (MHRA, 2010)

First footnote reference: 35 Warren L. Oakley, A Culture of Mimicry: Laurence Sterne, His Readers and the Art of Bodysnatching, MHRA Texts and Dissertations, 73 (MHRA, 2010), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Oakley, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Oakley, Warren L.. 2010. A Culture of Mimicry: Laurence Sterne, His Readers and the Art of Bodysnatching, MHRA Texts and Dissertations, 73 (MHRA)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Oakley 2010: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Oakley 2010: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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