Monday, 31 July 2017

The Mysterious Miss Austen


The Mysterious Miss Austen exhibition at the Discovery Centre in Winchester, Hampshire, ran from May 13-July 24 and brought together visitors from all over who loved Jane Austen’s prose but have always been curious about her physical appearance. As the curators of the exhibit said, this is the first time that five known (if still debated) portraits of Jane Austen were ever in one place, and it’s probably the only time that this will ever happen as they have been loaned from private collections here and abroad. I joined the others who, after seeing the portraits, felt that the mystery only deepened. Who is Jane Austen? Why do we like her so much? Would we like her less had we read the bulk of her letters that were destroyed by her sister Cassandra and contained her sometimes forthright comments on neighbours or family members? Continue reading here.


(right photo) A Pelisse on display at the Malady and Medicine exhibit, altered for use as a dressing gown. Unlike Jane's silk one, this is an everyday version that Jane might have worn when she was ill.


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