A Portrait of the Author as a Young Girl

18 Jun

“To look almost pretty is an acquisition of higher delight to a girl who has been looking plain for the first fifteen years of her life than a beauty from her cradle can ever receive.” – Jane Austen

Based on the portrait below, Austen did not write about the “higher delight” of a plain girl from her own experience. According to researchers, new evidence confirms that a long-contested portrait of a young girl with dark hair and bright eyes is Austen at the age of 13.

If the painting is accurate, Austen was a cradle-born beauty after all.

Jane Austen at 13.

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5 Responses to “A Portrait of the Author as a Young Girl”

  1. jensine June 18, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    but then beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder and maybe she didn’t like herself 🙂

    • writedrunkandeditsober June 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

      A good point: “Where youth and diffidence are united, it requires uncommon steadiness of reason to resist the attraction of being called the most charming girl in the world.” – Jane Austen.
      At least she knew she was a good writer (she must have realized, right?).

      • jensine June 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

        well she did keep going even when her first book was rejected … so she must have had some self belief

      • writedrunkandeditsober June 18, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

        Very true! I can’t imagine how many wonderful books would have been lost to the world if writers had stopped trying after one rejection (or hundreds). It’s a good thing for all aspiring writers to remember.

      • jensine June 18, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

        true … never give up but hope for realistic critic

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