Which Jane Austen?

Oxford Writers' HouseFeatures2017OctoberWhich Jane Austen?

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Which Jane Austen?

Since the much-anticipated release of the new £10 note, Twitter has been filled with people posting pictures of their very first Jane Austen bill. Why does this feel like such a historic moment? Firstly, there is a sense of triumph for a beloved national hero being acknowledged in this ubiquitous way, and second, the excitement that we are face-to-face with Jane Austen herself. However, the image on our banknote is not a faithful representation of the writer’s features. It is taken from a flattering engraving of her in a Victorian frontispiece, which was adapted from an earlier, more realistic depiction of Jane sketched by her sister Cassandra. ‘Which Jane Austen?’ at the Weston Library challenges polite public images of Jane Austen and unravels a rebellious portrait of the author that goes deeper than surface appearance.

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