The first full-length and comprehensive study of the illustrations of Sterne's work, this book explores the ability of Sterne's texts to inspire the visual imagination. It helps to explain why scores of editions of his fiction have been illustrated, some profusely: to fulfill the reader's desire, as well as the artist's compulsion, to visualize Sterne's words. Gerard places his subject in a clear and innovative theoretical framework which opens the field to general word and image studies. The author begins by examining the distinct varieties of pictorialism in Sterne's texts. The remainder of the study takes into account three remarkable series of illustrations-representing Trim reading the sermon, didactic sentimentalism in A Sentimental Journey and Henry Mackenzie's Man of Feeling, and the many and diverse portrayals of 'poor Maria' - to demonstrate the ways in which culture projects these texts differently through the various artists.

Contents: Introduction; The pictorial appeal of Sterne; Text, imagination, picture; Eight ways of looking at Trim reading the sermon, 1883-1995; The ethics of vision: sentimentalism in contemporary illustration of A Sentimental Journey and The Man of Feeling; Icon of the heart: Maria as sentimental emblem, 1773-1888; Conclusion; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.