Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Carnell, Rachel

Subject Headings

Austen, Jane, 1775-1817 -- Criticism and interpretation, Austen, Jane, 1775-1817 -- Family, Novelists, English -- 18th century -- Family relationships, Jane Austen, Narrative, Eighteenth-century, English novelists, Gothic novel


Critics have long debated over whether or not Jane Austen contributed to her brother's literary periodical The Loiterer, specifically with the Sophia Sentiment letter. Observing Jane Austen's early writings in her juvenilia and Northanger Abbey, strong similarities are found in the writing styles of Jane, Henry, and James Austen. Taking into consideration the close relationship of the Austen siblings, this paper examines the recurring themes and the similarity in Jane Austen's early writing style to that of her siblings' periodical and the strong likelihood that she did contribute to The Loiterer. This study also asserts that the style of Northanger Abbey, usually noted for its differences from her later novels, has more in common with the writing of The Loiterer and the juvenilia as a result of the Austen siblings' interlocking literary development, demonstrating that Northanger Abbey is not an "immature" novel, as has long been thought, but that it stands alone with its own distinctive style. The skills that Austen developed from working with her brothers eventually led from the burlesque of her juvenilia and Northanger Abbey to the superior irony and distinctive prose narrative that she is famous for