segunda-feira, 30 de dezembro de 2013
Another Kind of Work From Jane Austen
By JENNIFER SCHUESSLER
Jane Austen once referred to her novels as fine brushwork on two inches of ivory, producing ''little effect after much labor.'' But when it came to embroidery, she seems to have preferred a somewhat broader canvas.
At least that's how it appears from a cross-stitch sampler by Austen, to be publicly displayed for the first time at Oxford's Bodleian Library for one day only on Thursday, in conjunction with World Book Day. The sampler, which is in a private collection, is dated 1787, the year Austen turned 12. (The stitching is frayed so that it appears to read ''1797.'') It includes a simple prayer, bordered by a few flowering bushes.
It will also be displayed with a pencil-on-vellum portrait of Austen, the authenticity of which has been much debated since its discovery was announced in December. The sampler, which does not seem to have stirred equal controversy, has a note on the back stating that an early owner was ''related to Jane Austen the novelist'' and that she had ''received it as a memento'' of Austen's life, according to a statement from the Bodleian.
Embroidery and Oxford, as it happens, both come in for a brief mention in at least one of Austen's novels. In ''Northanger Abbey'' the clergyman Henry Tilne brags to the Gothic-novel-guzzling Catherine Morland that he has read more books than she has, saying: ''Consider how many years I have had the start of you. I had entered on my studies at Oxford, while you were a good little girl working on your sampler at home!''
''Not very good, I'm afraid,'' Catherine responds. ''But now really, do not you think 'Udolpho' the nicest book in the world?''
This is a more complete version of the story than the one that appeared in print.
Posted by Francisco Augusto Vaz Brasil at 17:48