Publisher: London: Printed by Malachi****, for Edith Bates, Relict of the Aforesaid Mr. Bates, and sold by W. Owen, 1756.
Edition: First edition.
Bibliographical References: ESTC T77673; Block, The English Novel, page 140.
Condition: Hinges rubbed and starting, but sound; light damp-staining to the endpapers; very good copy.
Book ID: 27951
Description12mo, contemporary sprinkled calf, gilt rules. One page of publisher's terminal advertisements.
CommentsA forerunner to Laurence Sterne's The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, with numerous parallels in style and subject matter. In the 1770s Mrs. Piozzi wrote to Dr. Johnson that she had found a copy of this "strange book about Corporal Bates, which I bought and read . . . and found to be the very novel from which Sterne took his first idea . . . even the name Tristram itself, seems to be borrowed from this stupid history of Corporal Bates, forsooth." See Helen Sard Hughes "A Precursor of Tristram Shandy" in the Journal of English and German Philology (vol. 17, no. 2), who concludes that the story of Corporal Bates "was but one of many minor novels which in halting fashion prepare the way for the more perfect works of masters coming after . . ." Contemporary ink signature of Robert Parsons on the front paste-down.