Jane Austen Centre at Bath Unveils Wax Figure of Jane Austen

I just saw this when I found out about this new book, JANE AUSTEN COVER TO COVER (written by the owner of this blog). I like this wax figure, don’t you? Particularly put side-by-side with Anna Chancellor’s image.

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It’s probably safe to say that all Janeites have had at least one moment of curiosity about what Jane Austen looked like. We don’t have much to go on–a dashed-off, incomplete, badly faded watercolor by Cassandra Austen is the only authenticated image of Jane Austen’s face, which has both frustrated Austen fans as well as inspiring them to create something better.

Today, the Jane Austen Centre at Bath unveiled a wax figure of Jane Austen, created by sculptor Mark Richards (the BBC has a shorter piece with a video interview of the sculptor), inspired by Melissa Dring’s forensic painting of Austen, done several years ago also for the Jane Austen Centre. The painting has received a mixed reception from Janeites, and we are not terribly fond of it, but we like this wax figure rather better. In fact, we like it quite a bit.

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2 responses to “Jane Austen Centre at Bath Unveils Wax Figure of Jane Austen

  1. I think the wax figure is very pretty.  I don’t think she looks too angular or “sunken” at all. What do you think, A?  

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    • amo

      She’s definitely pretty, although I can see the point about the angularity. That’s “pretty” as we see it today; in her own time, prominent cheekbones would have been considered ugly. And in that drawing of Cassandra’s, which is the only real image of her we have, she’s got very round cheeks. But I really like how much she looks like Anna Chancellor. There’s no reason to suppose A.C. would be taking after that one particular great-great-great-whatever-aunt of hers, but it’s a fun comparison.
      The other thing is that she looks really young here – but I guess this is the Austen of NORTHANGER ABBEY, not the one of MANSFIELD PARK and PERSUASION.

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