In the same period – first half of the 18th century – the Anglican clergyman Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) wrote a very innovative and original story: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1759-67) .
The book is divided into nine sections, and – as the title suggests- tells about Tristram’s life and his opinions. The story does not follow a chronological order and it is quite impossible to give a summary. The protagonist was born only at Chapter 3, after a series of progressive digressions (= digressioni), based on the association of ideas about sexual practices, insults, the influence of names, noses, war and philosophy.
Apart from Tristram, protagonist and narrator, the most important characters in the book are his father Walter, his mother, his Uncle Toby, Toby’s servant Trim, and several popular minor characters including Doctor Slop, parson Yorick and Mrs. Wadman.
The action focus on domestic troubles and simple events which are narrated with humour , indulging (= indulgendo) on fears, obsessions and manias of the various characters.