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Jane Austen and the Regency Period: Persons of Interest

Portrait Controversies

controversial portrait of Jane Austen

The Rice Portrait of Jane Austen went on the auction block at Christie's. 

Stories about portraits (and presumed portraits) of Jane Austen:

Author Says She’s Found a Portrait of Jane Austen

Pretty words, Jane; would that you were too

silhouette of Jane Austen 

Silhouette of Jane Austen, unknown artist circa 1810-1815

Cassandra's portrait of Jane Austen

The famous portrait of Jane by sister Cassandra

Pencil and watercolor, circa 1810

National Portrait Gallery, London

When one walks into Gallery 18, this little surprise, set at eye-level, comes into view with an activated dim spotlight.

Jane Austen by Richard Bentley

The best-known portrait, a stipple engraving by Richard Bentley (1870) after the likeness by Cassandra Austen.

Tom Lefroy . . . the original Mr. Darcy?

Young Tom Lefroy

Thomas Langlois Lefroy, recently made familiar to Austenites through the film, Becoming Jane, is thought to be the inspiration for Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pride and Prejudice fame.  He was visiting his aunt, Mrs. Anne Lefroy when he met Jane at a ball.

In a letter to Cassandra, Jane described her meeting Tom Lefroy at the ball:

'I am almost afraid to tell you how my Irish friend and I behaved. Imagine to yourself everything profligate and shocking in the way of dancing and sitting down together.'


Austen Family Family Tree

Austen Family Tree with pictures      


Austen Family Tree

George and Cassandra Austen (Jane Austen's parents)

silhouettes George and Cassandra Austen

Induction mandate for George Austen, Deane Parsonage

Induction mandate for George Austen   George Austen's gravestone  In Defense of George Austen. An article from Persuasions, the quarterly of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA).

Aunt and Cousin to Jane Austen: Philadelphia Hancock and Eliza de Feuillide

The Comtesse de Feuillide brought a bit of glamour to the Austen family. Jane certainly admired her cosmopolitan dress and manners, her joie de vivre, and her ladylike “airs”—something accomplished and stylish women cultivated and exuded.  For Eliza, however, her charm and attraction were seemingly natural and unstudied.  Her first husband, the Comte de Feuillide died by the guillotine; her second, younger husband, was Jane Austen’s smitten brother, Henry.


Mrs. Anne Lefroy, friend of Jane Austen

Mrs. Anne Lefroy

Mrs. Anne Lefroy (1749-1804)

"As recorded on the border of the gold frame of this miniature, Anne Lefroy died from a fall from her horse on the 16th December 1804, Jane Austen’s 29th birthday. This inspired Jane to write a poem from the heart in memory of her friend. It begins: "To the Memory of Mrs. Lefroy who died Dec:r 16 — my Birthday."

Rev. James Edward Austen-Leigh

book by JE Austen-Leigh

the Reverend James Edward Austen-Leigh

Rev. James Edward Austen-Leigh

Jane Austen portrait

  The Definitive Portrait of Jane Austen goes on auction . . .

More about the portrait from

Jane Leigh Perrot (Jane Austen's Aunt)

A lengthy description of the scandal of its period--in Bath, anyway.  Did she or didn't she?  Much ado over an alleged card of stolen lace. Jane Leigh-Perrot was an aunt to Jane--as sister to Jane's father, James.

Harris Bigg-Wither. . . overnight fiance

Harris Bigg-Wither

Harris Bigg-Wither (1781-1833)

Harris was the brother of close friends to Jane and sister Cassandra.  In a letter to a niece Jane wrote,

"Anything is to be preferred or endured rather than marrying without Affection." (Austen letter dated November 1814)