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The Case of Sophia Berkley
Richard Haslam

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.

Gothic Studies