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Laurence Sterne in Germany A Contribution to the Study of the Literary Relations of England and Germany in the Eighteenth Century   By: (1873-)

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[Transcriber's Note:

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A Contribution to the Study of the Literary Relations of England and Germany in the Eighteenth Century



Sometime Fellow in Germanic Languages and Literatures, Columbia University

Copyright 1905, Columbia University Press, New York


Mr. Thayer has undertaken to write, in detail and from the sources, the history of Sterne's vogue in Germany. As thus broadly defined the task had not before been attempted, although phases of it had been treated, more or less thoroughly, in recent monographs. The work here submitted, the result of careful research in a number of American and European libraries, is in my judgment an interesting and valuable contribution to our knowledge of the literary relations of England and Germany at the time of the great renascence of German letters.


Columbia University, May, 1905.


The following study was begun in the autumn of 1901, and was practically finished now more than a year ago. Since its completion two works of interest to lovers of Sterne have been issued, Czerny's study of Sterne's influence upon Hippel and Jean Paul, a work which the present author had planned as a continuation of this book, and Prof. Cross's new definitive edition of Sterne.

I desire here to express my thanks to Prof. W. H. Carpenter, Prof. Calvin Thomas and Prof. W. P. Trent, under whose guidance my last year of University residence was spent: their interest in my work was generous and unfailing; their admirable scholarship has been and will continue to be an inspiration. I am indebted to Prof. Carpenter and Prof. Thomas for many helpful suggestions regarding the present work, and the latter especially has given freely of his valuable time to a consideration of my problems. I am grateful also to several other friends for helpful and kindly service, and to many librarians in this country and in Europe for their courtesy.

NEW YORK, May 1, 1905.


Chapter I. Introduction 1

Chapter II. Sterne in Germany before the Publication of The Sentimental Journey 9

Chapter III. The Publication of The Sentimental Journey 35

Chapter IV. Sterne in Germany after the Publication of The Sentimental Journey 55

Chapter V. Sterne's Influence in Germany 84

Chapter VI. Imitators of Sterne 112

Chapter VII. Opposition to Sterne and His Type of Sentimentalism 156

Chapter VIII. Bibliography 183

Index 196



The indebtedness of German culture to other peoples has been the theme of much painstaking investigation. The history of German literature is, in large measure, the story of its successive periods of connection with the literatures of other lands, and hence scholars have sought with industry and insight to bound and explain such literary inter relations.

The latter half of the eighteenth century was a period of predominant English influence. The first half of the century had fostered this ascendency through the popularity of the moral weeklies, the religious epic, and the didactic poetry of Britain... Continue reading book >>

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