“What does the continual repicturing of Austen say to us?”

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.

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