Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2011

Is this a portrait of the Austen family in 1781?

The ‘Conversation Piece’. Is this a portrait of the Austen Family? Is this a portrait of the Austen Family in 1781? Whilst conducting research into the ‘Rice’ portrait, Mr. Robin Roberts discovered a very interesting picture, which seems to have gone unnoticed in a Christie’s catalogue. The sale of the property of Mrs. Robert Tritton took place at Godmersham Park, Kent, between Monday, June 6 th and Thursday, June 9 th , 1983. Elsie Tritton and her husband had bought the estate in 1936, and the catalogue notes how she and her husband had lovingly rescued the house, and how Elsie, a New Yorker by birth, wished that after her death, their wonderful collection of furniture and clocks, English Conversation Pieces, objets d’art and textiles should be available for others to buy for their own collections. This is a fascinating catalogue to see, and I think the fact that the painting came out of the sale of Godmersham Park is most exciting! Click on the pictures to see a larger image. T

Ozias Humphry and the Austen Family: Part Two

Identifying Ozias Humphry's work is not always easy, especially when his signature is not always to be found on a piece of artwork. And even when it is there, it's often so lightly painted in as to hardly be seen. This is certainly the case in the Craven and Granard portrait, which can be found in Berkeley Castle , seen on the left here. Fortunately, it is recorded on the top right hand corner that the artist is Humphry, but he also signed the portrait just under the hem of Lady Craven's skirt. Although I have a blown up picture of this signature, it is difficult to see, being almost exactly the same tone as the stone underneath her feet, and is too small to show on this blog. This is a stunning oil painting with a dramatic sky that features so often in Humphry's work. This next drawing is of the artist Gavin Hamilton, and is a perfect example of how easily Humphry's work has been overlooked. This was previously thought to be a self-portrait, but has now been reco

Ozias Humphry and the Austen Family: Part One

Ozias Humphry, Self-Portrait I don't think it's any secret that I've always been a great admirer of the 'Rice Portrait', so when I was contacted recently by the owner, Mrs. Henry Rice, I was incredibly thrilled. She and her brother, Mr. Robin Roberts, have been working tirelessly in their quest to find out more about the painting, to reinforce its existing provenance as the only known oil portrait of Jane Austen painted by Ozias Humphry. Over the next few weeks I shall be bringing news of their exciting discoveries, as well as a painting believed to be of the Austen family that could well be described as a 'Conversation Piece'! I thought it best to talk a little first about Ozias Humphry himself, to give a little background to the artist's life, and to show his connections to the Austen family. On Wednesday, I will be showing you some of the different types of work he produced, looking in particular at examples of his varied artwork including drawin

Competition Winner! Mr. Darcy's Secret

Thank you to everyone who entered the competition to win a signed copy of Mr. Darcy's Secret . The winner is:                                                                           EmileeHope Congratulations Emilee - could you please contact me with your address details and I'll put your copy in the post. Thank you to Laura Hartness for a lovely review over at Calico Critic Blogspot . I am enormously grateful to everyone who has taken the time to read and review my book; it really means so much to me. Don't forget to tune into the Austen Twitter Project tomorrow  Last week's chapters are posted up for our delight along with the next twist in the plot. If you've ever been tempted to try your hand at writing a novel inspired by Jane, now is your chance. Come and join in, it's a lot of fun and it's open to everyone!