Sterne travelled through France and Italy three years prior to writing A Sentimental Journey, which he completed on his death bed. The protagonist is a thinly-disguised Sterne who recounts his - mostly amorous - adventures through the two countries. Sterne very particularly wanted the account to be subjective; he discusses opinions and morals and personal experiences in opposition to the drier travelling accounts which dealt with history and classical learning. His book helped to establish travel writing as the dominant genre of the late 18th century.

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