The Collection | The Black Page

The black page in Tristram Shandy commemorates the death of Parson Yorick. In the first edition, published in York and overseen by Sterne, the ‘blackness’ is printed on both sides of the leaf with what appears to be a solid woodblock.

In 2009 the Laurence Sterne Trust held an exhibition (and auction) in recognition of the 250th anniversary of the publication of the black page. Because the black page falls on page 73 of the first edition, 73 artists and writers were invited to create their own interpretation of Sterne’s most famous experimental device. A list of contributors and images of the 73 ‘black pages’ can be found on the Black Page blog, and copies of the Black Page Catalogue, a boxed collection of prints of each of the 73 commissions along with the artist or writer’s information and materials, are available in the online shop.

Please find below a selection of different examples of black pages, to find a specific item in The Laurence Sterne Trust Collection please use the search bar at the top right of this page.

0296a

The Works of Laurence Sterne (1803: 4 vols.)

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CCWSH:0293

The Novelists Magazine (1791)

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0291a

The Works of Laurence Sterne (1803: 8 vols.)

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0289a

The Works of Laurence Sterne (1790)

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0285a

The Works of Laurence Sterne (1788)

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0266a

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (2nd Dublin edn.)

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0254a

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (Lynch edn.)

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CCWSH0196crop

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (4th edn.)

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