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Sterne’s Manicules: Hands, Handwriting and Authorial Property in Tristram Shandy

This article argues that in Tristram Shandy Sterne expresses his desire to be the sole owner of his literary work through images of the hand and handwriting. It explores his experimentation with the typographic manicule and his innovation in representing script in print. I suggest that Sterne represents the hand and handwriting as ambiguous markers of authenticity in order to illustrate and lament the complexities of assigning literary property in this period.