Laurence Sterne (1713 - 1768) was an Irish-born novelist and clergyman. He is best known for his novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.
Sterne was sent to Halifax in Yorkshire at an early age for his education. He later studied at Jesus College, Cambridge, before working as a clergyman in Yorkshire, eventually becoming a prebendary of York Minster.
Later, Sterne published A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy (1768) which was based on the travels in Europe he had undertaken because of his suffering from tuberculosis. Sterne also published a number of collections of sermons.
Sterne's books include a number of unusual alienating tehcniques, such as rows of asterisks and blank pages. These and other elements, such as Tristram Shandy beginning at the moment of Tristram's conception and the plot thereafter having no consistency or satisfactory conclusion, are designed to parody the conventions of the still-young novel form.