If British novelist Jane Austen – now dead for 200 years – could see the picture of her that is in cash registers and wallets in England on the newly-issued ten pound note, she would probably laugh. The bankers selected a popular painting of Austen, which as Emily Auerbach points out, is a “beautified” version created after her death. In comparison, the picture painted by Jane’s sister Cassandra is less flattering, with sharper features, smaller eyes, plainer clothes . . . and is considered to be more accurate. Is it the case that women writers must appear to be attractive? Even in 2017?
Auerbach, Emily. Searching for Jane Austen. U of Wisconsin P, 2004, p. 23.