Freydis’ Family??

February 16, 2009 at 10:10 pm (portraits and paintings) (, , , , )

austen-desk-diary1Freydis Welland, daughter of Joan Austen-Leigh, published silhouettes cut by James-Edward Austen-Leigh in the book Life in the Country. Now comes some Austen journals, diaries from The British Library – but WHO are the silhouettes found on the covers???

Set for publication in mid-2009, guess we’ll have to wait and see.

The woman does not match that of Emma Austen-Leigh, for Joan included a silhouette described as Emma’s in her Persuasions article “My Aunt, Jane Austen” (nabbed from that site, it’s posted below).

I have always known I would have to contact the family — seeing Edward’s drawing of Stoneleigh Abbey, which was done during his 1833 tour taken with Emma and her family (the basis for my article in the upcoming issue of Persuasions [July 2009: this article is available online at]) included in Life in the Country, convinced me yet again of that task this past fall. But seeing these silhouettes!

emma-smith_silhouette1Once the camera came into being, there would have been little need to create silhouettes, so surely Edward and his sisters-in-law practiced making shades of family and friends during the 1820s and 30s, when all the siblings were together and the children were young.

And if the silhouettes are identified….Oh, happy day indeed!!

It is difficult not to wonder, Could the above show Fanny Seymour? Why her?? — There is something reminiscent of a portrait of her by Augusta, which I found in the collections at HRO in Winchester.

The man doesn’t look like a Smith — they all seem to have had quite prominent noses!


 (“Emma Smith,” from Joan Austen-Leigh’s Persuasions article)


  1. Laurel Ann said,

    Hi Kelly, there is selection of silhouetted items in this series. So pretty. Hard to wait for them to arrive! Thanks for the great blog. Hope you find out who of the family they are.

  2. Janeite Kelly said,

    Hi Laurel Ann – nice to see you here (since I’m used to reading your own blog, as well as comments at our

    Have you seen some samples of these journals?? The covers of the desk diary and pocket diary are the same, but I’m wondering if the interior illustrations differ. If you’ve information from some inside source (and you are oh so knowledgable about so much that’s new and coming on the market!), do let me know.

    Of course, Edward did do silhouette scenes (as in Life in the Country), so I am assuming those predominate.

    Any further info is appreciated!!

  3. Janeite Kelly said,

  4. Buck said,

    Just dropping by.Btw, your website has great content!

  5. Anna Sanderson said,

    Hi – I hope you don’t mind me dropping by but I thought I’d be able to clear up your question re. the illustrations.
    The desk and pocket diary share the same illustrations – they are a mixture of colour illustrations from the British Library in London (these relate to the period either places JA visited or had connection to or they give some other insight to England at that time) plus silhouettes from Freydis’ collection with quotes. The diaries also include key Jane Austen dates.
    The Journal is lined and simply illustrated with silhouettes and quotes (different to those used in the diaries).

    As for the identities of the cover silhouettes …. no comment!

    I hope you enjoy them – Anna

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