A silhouette of Mary Lady Smith

August 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm (entertainment, jasna, portraits and paintings, research) (, , , , , , )

I hesitate to bring attention to this image, for it is my own “cutting” – and gosh I had such problems! But a quick look around two crafts stores and I’m convinced I have to either spend a good $20 on a small set of sheers, or half that on an Exacto-knife — but I’m on the fence about needing to cut on some surface…

Anyway: the drawing in Scenes from Life at Suttons, presummed to have been done by Augusta Smith (Augusta Wilder to give her married name), was of a type so convenient to be adapted as a silhouette that it is that image rather than Augusta’s sketch of her (very light, and oh-so-barely colored) that you will see presented here on this blog:

It really brings to home how much I loved the computer programs I had at my last place of employment — I could have Photoshopped this image to perfection. You’ll have to have patience (what an expensive program!) until I can get to a handy computer lab (the one I used to use has removed the scanner – which means a removal of Photoshop from the computer! a true loss: the lab was so quiet to use on a late Sunday morning…).

So Mary now joins Emma in being depicted on “their own blog”:

When I was researching at the Hampshire Record Office, there was one sketchbook of extremely FAINT outlines of people. They must have been outlines made in preparation of silhouttes. Alas! no identifyers were ever attached to these…, and how would they photograph? Nil, I would think.

Two years ago, at the JASNA AGM held in Philadelphia, my roommate had her silhouette cut by an artist who just observed and cut, but I know there were “machines” in use way back when; and Willoughby is depicted as getting his “shade taken” in Emma Thompson’s Sense and Sensibility — so this is a subject I will return to! But later…

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Jane Austen Book Raffle

March 6, 2011 at 11:00 am (books, jasna, research) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Time to post a bit of a *PLUG* for the giveaway:

One lucky winner will be gifted with this SIGNED copy of the delightful Life in the Country. Let’s take a quick look inside!

A little history, as my Emma would say, of the book:

This copy came direct from the U.K. (purchased by a friend). I brought it with me to the 2009 JASNA AGM in Philadelphia. Joan Ray, who spoke in Vermont in September of that year, had already signed the book. In Philadelphia, I tracked down Maggie Lane after her AGM presentation (I also wanted to see if she had heard of the Goslings, as a banking firm; unfortunately, she was unfamiliar with them). Freydis Welland, who is the daughther of Joan Austen-Leigh, I sought out because I wanted to meet her — she’s my Emma’s family, after all! Freydis and her sister were most kind in their remarks about my research, and Freydis consented to sign the copy of this book. Thus, only Eileen Sutherland is missing in this line-up.

The essays, like the one pictured — “Jane Austen and her Family” (Maggie Lane’s contribution) — make for a nice read. The bulk of the book are made up of wonderful silhouettes cut by my James Edward Austen Leigh!

My online review of the book has this to say about Life in the Country: “Most reviews of Life in the Country focus on its Jane Austen connection; while her name will create media coverage and open consumer wallets, it is the silhouettes themselves that will keep this book at hand. Although noted a bit late, there is acknowledgement at the back that virtually all the silhouettes are presented in their original size. The level of intricacy, especially in the more complicated scenery pieces, is astounding and the skill necessary to have produced them freehand is truly amazing.”

To read the entire review, see Jane Austen in Vermont (the JASNA-Vermont blog): http://janeausteninvermont.wordpress.com/2008/12/03/life-in-the-country-a-review/

The Jane Austen Raffle is simple and costs only $1:

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