'The Evolution of "A Sentimental Journey, by a Lady" in The Lady's Magazine'
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionThe Shandean. 2020, 31 67-100.
This article reassesses the long serial publication ‘A Sentimental Journey, by a Lady’ (1770-1777) and attempts to liberate it from Robert Mayo’s damning judgment in the early 1960s, which, together with problems of accessibility, has led to the serial being largely unread. The article serves, in part, as an introduction to the little-known work while its main purpose is to chart the relationship between Sterne’s fiction and the narrative produced by the ‘Lady’ as it developed across seven years of monthly publication. It shows how the early embrace of Sterne as an inspiration was largely jettisoned in the later phases of the serial. Without claiming that ‘A Sentimental Journey, by a Lady’ is a great work, the article suggests that it deserves better than condemnation and neglect and that acknowledging it as a popular and enduring part of 1770s literary culture can enrich our understanding of both Sterneana and early magazine fiction.