Monday 13 July 2020


Born on this day in 1757 was the brilliant, often scabrous, graphic artist Thomas Rowlandson. Above is his depiction of the jolly dance in the back parlour of the auberge at Amiens, from Sterne's A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy. La Fleur, the French valet, warmed by 'a cup or two of the best wine in Picardy', plays the fife and sets all the household, down to the cats and dogs, a-dancing. 'I suppose,' Sterne observes, 'there had never been a merrier kitchen since the flood.'
  'Since the flood' is a typical Sterne touch – as in Walter Shandy's exclamation at a critical moment in Tristram's conception:  '"Good G–!" quoth my father ... "Did ever woman, since the creation of the world, interrupt a man with such a silly question?"' 

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