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New developments at Shandy Hall
Wed 12 Mar 2003
Shandy Hall is the former home of writer Laurence Sterne. Schools are now being invited to explore the possibilities of stimulating creative writing using Sterne as a catalyst. His extraordinary approach to narrative, story-telling and life-writing - combined with the opportunity to engage with a literary museum that is not roped off or over-restricted, is proving a fascinating combination.
The Laurence Sterne Trust was founded in 1967 and a restored Shandy Hall was opened to the public in 1973. It is unusual in that as well as being a registered museum it is also a lived-in home. The house and garden have attracted thousands of visitors over the years and although it is vital that its special - almost secret - atmosphere is retained, a new future is being created.

Sterne's influence as a writer is being increasingly recognised. Tristram Shandy is still in the Penguin Classics 'Top 50' and his influence on Dickens, Joyce, Woolf, Calvino confirms his reputation. NAWE patron Andrew Motion put Tristram Shandy first on his list of novels that should be read - ahead of George Eliot, Graham Greene and Graham Swift.

In the forthcoming edition of Writing in Education, Patrick Wildgust looks at Sterne and Shandy Hall in an article titled 'Habitats for Writers'. In the same edition, it is interesting to read Hugh Haughton in his article on non-fiction (centre spread, page vii) refer to Sterne amongst other early novelists giving 'impetus to the pursuit of autobiographical truth'.

Patrick Wildgust has notified us of some events related to Shandy Hall which will be listed in the events & opportunities section of this site (keyword: Sterne).

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Patrick Wildgust
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