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 Shandy Hall Collection search the Catalogue.