Still, sadly, not Jane Austen (ctd.)

October 22 2014

Image of Still, sadly, not Jane Austen (ctd.)

Picture: TLS

Regular readers will be aware of the ongoing debate over the 'Rice Portrait', which is claimed to show a young Jane Austen. I hadn't seen till now the latest argument on the picture, which is perhaps the most emphatic rejection of the identification yet (which I agree with). In the Times Literary Supplement, Henrietta Foster and Kathryn Sutherland not only neatly demolish many of the more curious claims about the picture (such as the fact that an old photo when 'forensically analysed' apparently shows it is signed and dated 'Ozias Humphry 178[9?] RA', above - simply a wrong claim anyway, and in any case Humphry was not an RA then), but also suggests that the whole thing was some elaborate practical joke by a known forger called Dr Thomas Harding Newman, who 'discovered' the picture inthe 19th Century. Well worth a click.

For more AHN on the picture, put 'Rice Portrait' into the search box. For the case in favour of the picture, see the Rice website here

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