Tonight, BBC2 is airing ‘Jane Austen: The Unseen Portrait’.
Martha Kearny follows Dr Paula Byrne, who believes she has come across a portrait of Jane Austen lost to the world for nearly two centuries, engaging with a range of literary scholars alongside art history experts and discussing
our idea of Austen, our desire to know more about her appearance and how this impacts upon her reputation and continued fascination with the author.
As Austen is a writer about whom surprisingly little is known, these kinds of new finds are rather intriguing—as much for the journey they inspire in delving through different kinds of materials in the archiving of literary figures, as for the uphill struggle in establishing (and potentially eventually disregarding) the authenticity of any new additions to a literary history.
I’m watching it now, but it will surely be up on IPlayer asap! The BBC page can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b018nz2x