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Record 22512

Reading Experience:

'The other day some people from “The Gentlewoman” came to interview me and wished to put an account if me into their paper. I hate being public property and so refused though I acknowledged their kind intentions & the compliment they had paid me. If I once give myself into the hands of such people I shall not be able to breathe without the Editorial watch being produced to count the seconds – and I can’t live with the grip of the public ranter on my poor little wrist. I shall either long for it to tighten & deteriorate in consequence, or the publicity will make me die of shyness. I talked to the good ladies (who were much astonished that anyone would refuse to be set out in their excellent magazine), but remained firm - & they had to retire with no more ink wasted on their huge mss. They brought large enough books for their notes – poor things and it was a cold day. . . The Spectator I see is one of the adverse critics on my little Urmi. They cannot understand the Indian language naturally – and I think perhaps they are a bit angry about an Indian getting into so good a Magazine. They wish “if Indians are to take a part in our literature that they would do something separate” – Bosh! What red-Tafeism – as if we contaminate their literature. They say too it is “hardly local” – because any woman might feel the same. I daresay they fancy that because Indian women are not English they can’t have any nice feelings as to their ties to their husbands or to their children. However I don’t mind for they abuse Mr Knowles in the same paper.'
Century: 1850-1899
Date: Until: 7 Jan 1893
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: n/a
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Cornelia Sorabji
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Female
Date of Birth 1866
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
One of India's first women lawyers
Occupation: Trainee lawyer
Religion: Christian [family originally Parsee]
Country of origin: India
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Title: The Spectator
Genre: Essays / Criticism
Form of Text: Print: Serial / periodical
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 22512  
Source - Manuscript Other
  Author: F165/8 Sorabji Papers, APACS, British Library,

Citation: F165/8 Sorabji Papers, APACS, British Library,, accessed: 31 May 2023

Additional comments:

Cornelia Sorabji, lawyer and author, had her earliest articles published in 'The Nineteenth Century', whose editor was Mr Knowles. She was suffciently unique in London society - with her colourful silk saris, her professional ambitions and her literary contributions - to be the prospective subject of an interview by the hapless female writers for 'The Gentlewoman' in the extract quoted.



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)