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New Portrait of Jane Austen Found
Still, there is something about seeing that image that makes the author human, that reminds us of the mind behind the world we are about to enter. Which is why, let's admit it, we all peek, and feel disappointed when a publication is too sensible to include an author photo. It's also why we are always looking for new images of beloved authors like Shakespeare and Jane Austen, who had the bad manners to live before Google Images. Luckily for lovers of all things Austen, a new portrait of her has been found. Dr. Paula Byrne, the Austen biographer who found the image, told the BBC that right away she recognized the long, straight "Austen nose" and that the pencil sketch presents a very professional woman writer at the height of her creative powers." It certainly presents a different image than the sweet, bonneted Jane we are used to seeing reproduced on mugs and totes the world over.
As to why there aren't more images of the celebrated novelist, "When Jane Austen was writing, she wrote her novels anonymously. People didn't really know who she was at all and even after her death, when her name appears in print for the first time, she's not at all popular." Apparently, she didn't even tweet, either. Check out the BBC story for more on the controversy over authenticating the image, and to see the picture itself.
A new book by Jane Austen (sort of).
Celebrities share the classic books that changed them.
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