Ever Wonder What Jane Austen Looked Like? Apparently, So Do Forensic Artists

Jane Austen waxwork at The Jane Austen Centre
Jane Austen waxwork at The Jane Austen Centre
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Remember when Van Gogh’s severed ear was recreated by a German artist and a couple of Boston-based professors? Well now, forensic artist Melissa Dring is trying to recreate a replica of an entire person: Jane Austen.

According to The Guardian, Dring spent three years using a combination of eye-witness accounts and forensic science to form the “closest ever likeness” of the author of “Pride and Prejudice.”

The waxworth is now on display at The Jane Austen Centre in Bath. The replica of Austen has brown curly hair, a long nose, and twinkling brown eyes.

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The Guardian reports that Dring first used a sketch of Austen by the author’s sister Cassandra in 1810 to begin a pastel portrait that would be the basis for the waxwork. Dring also got clues to Austen’s appearance from the author’s nephew, James Edward Austen-Leigh, who described his aunt in his memoir.

Austen-Leigh wrote:

“Her figure was rather tall and slender, her step light and firm, and her whole appearance expressive of health and animation. In complexion she was a clear brunette with a rich colour; she had full round cheeks, with mouth and nose small and well-formed, bright hazel eyes, and brown hair forming natural curls close round her face.”

Austen was born on December 16, 1775, and was one of eight children.