Maria was a popular subject for school girls to stitch or paint. The heroine of Lawrence Sterne’s (born 1713)
novel, “Sentimental Journey Through Italy and France” published in 1768 just three weeks before his death. Its
emphasis on sentiment became a popular genre for travel writings in the late eighteenth century. Existing travel
based stories were based on classical learning and objective observations.
Maria, who lost her clarity of mind after being jilted by her fiancé, went wandering with her pipe (flute)
and a goat (who also deserted her). She acquired a dog, Sylvo, and kept him tethered to her stating “thou shalt
not leave me” with deeper meaning because her loving and anguished father recently died. The story captured the
imaginations of young ladies.
Silk and watercolor on silk
STEPHEN & CAROL HUBER
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