Archive for pride and prejudice

A Portrait of Jane (Austen)

Posted in ART, ART VIDEOS with tags , , , , , on December 16, 2010 by echostains

Today is the 235th birthday of British writer Jane Austen b.1775 – 1817.  Austen is one of  the most well-known  female author of  English Literature.  Her shrewd observations, wry wit and social commentary give us an insight into Georgian society.  She came from a  close large  consisting of Father George Austen, mother Cassandra Leigh and six brothers and one sister, Cassandra b. 1873.  Much has been written about the author and her life on the fabulous Pemberley website

Jane Austen 1870 1869 engraving showing an idealized, young Jane Austen, based on a sketch by Cassandra Austen

 Austen started writing when she was young but it wasn’t until 1811 that she achieved any success (Sense and Sensibility) this was followed by perhaps her most popular novel Pride and Prejudice1813, then Mansfield Park 1814.  Emma followed in 1816 and this was followed by Northanger Abbey and Persuasion which were both published posthumously in 1818.  She began another book Sanditon but died before it was finished.

As to my aunt’s personal appearance, hers was the first face I can remember thinking pretty. Her face was rather round than long, she had a bright, but not a pink colour­ a clear brown complexion, and very good hazel eyes. Her hair, a darkish brown, curled naturally, it was in short curls around her face. She always wore a cap.”
Recollections of Aunt Jane by Caroline Austen

Cassandra drawing

It is impossible to really know exactly what Jane Austen looked like.  Etchings and paintings have all been based upon this rudimentary sketch by Cassandra the authors sister.  People who knew Jane are divided: some thought the sketch generally unlike her.  However, in 2002 Forensic artist Melissa Dring  attempted a definitive portrait of the author, which was unveiled at the Jane Austen centre in Bath, with this result:-

Jane Austen by Melissa Dring

In creating this work, Ms. Dring explains, “The natural starting point, then, had to be Cassandra’s sketch, which I reversed, as I decided to have Jane looking the other way, and also I needed to make her look a few years younger. Cassandra drew Jane at 35, and I had to make her aged 26-31, during her years in Bath. Above all, though, I wanted to bring out something of Jane’s lively and humorous character, so evident in her novels and all contemporary accounts of her. Cassandra’s drawing may have been quite like Jane physically, but has failed to catch her sparkle.”*

I suppose we’ll never know for sure what Jane Austen really looked like, but it’s fun to speculate 🙂

Meanwhile over on Bookstains – there are MORE Austen Celebrations plus a Poll!

Lots more portraits and info from here

Find out about Jane Austen the author here

Images from here here

video by ewell01 Thanks!


York Break: Haworth still Wuthering after all these years

Posted in BRONTE BITES, PAST PLACES, YORK BREAK with tags , , , , , , , on April 28, 2009 by echostains

haworth-parsonage-and-graveyard witmess to much grief

haworth-parsonage-and-graveyard witmess to much grief

On the way back from our York break, we called in at  Haworth, the Yorkshire village famous for it’s association with the Bronte’s. 



 There was a time when we used to go once or twice a year, but this was the first time we had been in 3 years.  Nothing had changed.  Perhaps a few new shops and one old favorite sadly, shutting down.

haworth-graveyard on a sunny day

haworth-graveyard on a sunny day

I decided to go in the Bronte Parsonage Museum.  Again, it was years since I had been inside and there were some changes.  More exhibits for a start!  I must have spent a good hour and half in there.

haworth-apothecary-window a wonderland of bygone products

haworth-apothecary-window a wonderland of bygone products


I am a huge Bronte fan.  My favorite Bronte’s are Charlotte and Branwell, though my favorite Bronte book is ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily.  Branwell Bronte fascinates me.  There are so many stories concerning him.  It seems the darker he is painted, the brighter his sisters shine……..suspiciously.



There were costumes in the museum, worn in the new productin of ‘Wuthering Heights’.  I only hope it’s nothing like the Keira Knightly ‘Pride and Prejudice’……  What a massive disappointment that was. The Bennett’s lived on what looked like a farm, Darcy was downright silly, and as for Wickham (‘who everyone praised to the sky’) and who plays an integral part in the ‘pride’ and ‘prejudice’ of Lizzie and Darcy – well, I think he was seen for approximately two minutes.  Why do they bother?  These type of stories cannot be improved on by sexing them up… when will they learn, it’s what is NOT shown, but which is imagined that has made these stories last so long.

lizzie-and-darcy the bbc version and in my opinion the very best

lizzie-and-darcy the bbc version and in my opinion the very best


More of my posts about my York break;

The Haunted House on Stonegate York

Here’s the rest of the journey