Posted on 19/12/2011
Professor Judith Hawley, from the Department of English, is to investigate the authenticity of a portrait that may be one of the only remaining images of Jane Austen in a BBC Two documentary.
She will offer her insights and expertise into portraits of women writers and the status of the woman writer in the early 19th century in Jane Austen: The Unseen Portrait? at 9pm on Boxing Day (Monday 26 December).
Jane Austen is one of the most celebrated writers of all time but with only a rough sketch by her sister we have just an inkling of what she may have looked like. Austen academic and biographer Dr Paula Byrne believes that she’s discovered a portrait of the author that has been lost for nearly two centuries and may offer fascinating new insight into how Jane once lived and portrayed herself to the world. In a one-off special, presenter Martha Kearney joins the search to find out whether an unusual drawn portrait really does capture the face of the well-loved author, seeking the advice of Professor Hawley and other Austen experts..
Professor Hawley will also feature in a special BBC Radio 4 programme on New Year’s Eve exploring the history of toasting and explaining just why we raise our glasses and say ‘cheers’?