On the Block! ~ A Jane Austen Portrait? (via Jane Austen in Vermont)

Another Jane Austen related item up for auction in London. We may never know if this watercolor portrait is of Jane Austen – but my Marianne-ish sensibilities want it to be so.

On the Block! ~ A Jane Austen Portrait? Christie’s Sale 8021:  Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts 8 June 2011 London, King Street  [Jane Austen? by James Stanier Clarke] James Stanier Clarke’s Friendship Book will be auctioned off tomorrow, June 8, 2011 at Christie’s London.  Clarke was the Prince Regent’s librarian at Carlton House – he famously invited Jane Austen to visit, requested her to dedicate her next book to the Prince [Emma], and carried on a lively correspondence with A … Read More

via Jane Austen in Vermont

Jane Austen Letter Moments

Watercolour portrait of Jane Austen by James Stanier Clarke, 1815I think I may boast myself to be, with all possible vanity, the most unlearned and uninformed female who ever dared to be an authoress. The Letters of Jane Austen, 11 December 1815

Unlearned? Uninformed? Vanity? I think NOT!

This one line from a letter written to the Rev. James Stanier Clarke, librarian to the Prince Regent of England, expounds Austen’s sly charm and passive wit!  How humble, how unpretentious, how insignificantly she promotes herself to the Rev. in an attempt to put him off his absurd request for her to write a historical romance formed around the House of Saxe Coburg (Germany). Little he knew what made our Jane tick!

I will concede that Austen was correct on one level. As an author in comparison to some of her learned contemporaries, her education and experiences were indeed unlearned and uninformed. She had little formal education beyond the influences and guidance of a traditionally educated father who augmented his income as a tutor. In her defense, she had the sense to understand her limitations, and the intelligence to write within her scope of knowledge and experience.

In response to Rev. Clarke’s request of topics for her writing, I feel that her reply was more a vexation to his suggestions, than vanity on her part about her ability.

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