YORK Civic Trust has unveiled a stained glass plaque in the city centre to the writer Laurence Sterne, 250 years after his birth.

The commemorative plaque has gone up in Stonegate, where Sterne’s ‘game-changing novel Tristram Shandy exploded into the world in 1759’ when it was sold at John Hinxman’s bookshop at number 35.

A spokesman said an initial print run of 200 was sold from the building, which still exists as a clothes shop, and Sterne saw the potential for a wider, London audience.

“Eventually running to nine volumes, the comic masterpiece has remained in print and continues to influence new generations of novelists,” he said.

He added that the trust had been placing commemorative plaques to places and people on buildings since the late 1940s, and there were now some eighty spread around the city.