No one description will fit this strange, eccentric, endlessly complex masterpiece. It is a fiction about fiction-writing in which the invented world is as much infused with wit and genius as the theme of inventing it. It is a joyful celebration of the infinite possibilities of the art of fiction, and a wry demonstration of its limitations. This Penguin Classic contains Christopher Ricks's introductory essay, itself a classic of English literary criticism, together with a new introduction on the recent critical history and influence of Tristram Shandy by Melvyn New. The text and notes are based on the acclaimed Florida Edition, making the scholarship of the Florida editors readily available for the first time.