In March 1789, a weekly journal edited by James Austen, The Loiterer, received a long letter criticising its lack of suitable and engaging content for women. The letter was signed by 'Sophia Sentiment', though the true identity of the writer has never been firmly established.
Our latest Podcast features an article from The Book Collector's Spring 1966 issue by Zachary Cope, in which he looks through the available evidence to establish whether 'Sophia Sentiment' may have been Jane Austen herself.
Since Cope's article was published in 1966, The Loiterer has become much more accessible. A facimile was published in 2000 (Ann Arbor: Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints) with an introduction by Li-Ping Geng, and in 2006 a modern edition was published by The Edwin Mellen Press (ed. Dr Robert Mack).
There is also a website dedicated to The Loiterer. edited by Linda Broemel, member of JASNA, who goes by the name 'Sophia Sentiment'. From this site - www.theloiterer.org - you can read every issue of The Loiterer, including the letter by Sophia Sentiment in issue #9, and the response from the editor.
We hope you enjoy the Podcast.