Laurence Sterne was born in 1713, the younger son of a landowning Yorkshire family. He studied at Jesus College, Cambridge and was ordained in 1738. Sterne's dramas were mostly personal, including bitter quarrels with his wife and uncle, and some high profile affairs. The publication of the first volumes of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy in 1759 made him famous throughout Europe overnight. He went on to complete the remaining volumes over the next seven years. Sterne died in 1768 of tuberculosis, the condition that had dogged him for many years.