The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

January 31, 2013

At the exhibitions

      In May, Jane went to stay with [Henry] in Sloane Street. Henry took her to town in his carriage, and the journey, in perfect weather, was delightful. The Chawton family had provided for the refreshment on the way; they ate three of the buns that had been put up, and when they arrived at Sloane Street, Mr. and Mrs. Tilton drank tea with them and were offered the remaining three. ...
      But Henry was proposing to leave Sloane Street and live over the bank at 10, Henrietta Street; preparations were being made already to fit up the upper floors for him. Jane went down there the following day, and told Cassandra:  'I ... walked into No. 10, which is all dirt and confusion, but in a very promising way;' ... After that she and Henry went to an exhibition of water-colours in Spring Gardens. Jane amused herself by seeing if any of the portraits would do for Jane or Elizabeth Bennet.  She said:  'I was very well pleased -- particularly (pray tell Fanny) with a small portrait of Mrs. Bingley, excessively like her. I went in hopes of seeing one of her sister, but there was no Mrs. Darcy; -- perhaps I may find here in the Great Exhibition which we shall go to if we have time.' 'Mrs. Bingley's,' she said, 'is exactly herself, size, shaped face, features and sweetness; there never was a greater likeness. She is dressed in a white gown with green ornaments, which convinces me of what I have always supposed, that green was a favourite colour with her. I daresay Mrs. D. will be in yellow.'

      But Jane went through the whole of the Great Exhibition, and an exhibition of Sir Joshua Reynolds', without finding a resemblance of Elizabeth in either; she said:  'I can only imagine that Mr. D. prizes any picture of her too much, to like it should be exposed to the public eye. -- I can imagine he would have that sort of feeling -- that mixture of love, pride and delicacy.'
from Jane Austen:  a biography, by Elizabeth Jenkins

{Dress for portrait sitting found here.}

1 comment:

Lisa said...

More great passages from her letters. I love it that Jane Austen thought about Jane & Elizabeth's favorite colors - and I can completely see Mr Darcy refusing to have Elizabeth's picture on public display.

Thank you for visiting!

Card Catalog

#6barsets #emma200th #maisie #Middlemarchin2019 #PalliserParty #Woolfalong A.A. Milne Agatha Christie Alexander McCall Smith Allison Pearson Amy Lowell Angela Thirkell Ann Bridge Anne Perry Anthony Trollope Anticipation Armchair Travels Art Audiobooks Barbara Pym Biography Bloomsbury Bookish things Boston British Library Crime Classics Cambridge Cathleen Schine Charles Dickens Coffee-table books Cookbooks D.E. Stevenson Deborah Crombie Donna Leon Dorothy L. Sayers Dorothy Whipple E.H. Young E.M. Delafield E.M. Forster Edith Wharton Elinor Lipman Elizabeth Gaskell Elizabeth Jenkins Elizabeth Taylor Elizabeth von Arnim Ellizabeth Taylor Emily Dickinson Ernest Hemingway Essays Eudora Welty Fanny Burney Fiction Films Food from Books Food Writing Found on a Blog George Eliot Georgette Heyer Gertrude Stein Helen Ashton Henry James History Homes and Haunts Ideas Imogen Robertson Isabella Stewart Gardner Jacqueline Winspear Jane Austen Joanna Trollope Julia Child Language Laurie Colwin Letters Library Books Literature Louise Andrews Kent Louise Penny M.F.K. Fisher Madame Bovary Madame de Sévigné Madame de Staël Margaret Kennedy Margery Sharp Martha Grimes Mary Shelley Memoirs Miss Read My Year with Edith Mysteries Nathaniel Hawthorne Nonfiction Nook Only Connect P.D. James Paris in July Persephones Plays Poetry Pride and Prejudice 200 Queen Victoria R.I.P. Reading England 2015 Ruth Rendell Sarah Orne Jewett Short Stories Susan Hill Switzerland Sylvia Beach Team Middlemarch The 1924 Club The Brontës the Carlyles The Classics Club Thomas Hardy Virago Virginia Woolf Washington Irving Willa Cather William Maxwell Winifred Peck Winifred Watson