In an influential essay, Rolf Loeber and Magda Stouthamer-Loeber have claimed that The
Adventures of Miss Sophia Berkley, by A Young Lady, which was published in 1760 (four
years before Horace Walpoles The Castle of Otranto), is an Irish Gothic novel. The Loebers
claims have been supported and developed by later critics, such as Christina Morin and
Jarlath Killeen. Using the methodology of rhetorical hermeneutics, this essay investigates
the validity, from a literary poetics perspective, of categorising Sophia Berkley as an
Irish Gothic novel. I argue that the Loebers, Morin, and Killeen do not make a convincing
case for doing so.