All Things Austen – Sketching One’s Character — 35 Comments

  1. Thank you for this wonderful post. I wish I had Jane Austen´s ability to sketch with words – in many cases, it would it make much easier to convey what I mean.

    • I had always enjoyed that particular banter between Elizabeth and Darcy, but had not been aware of the few instances in her other novels where she used that type of reference. Thanks, Kristine!

  2. At the end of the conversation between Darcy and Elizabeth, I like the implication from Elizabeth that she will never see Darcy again, and her sketch will be incomplete

    • Good point, Vesper. So she is of the opinion she wouldn’t be able to complete it, let alone know where to begin! (Little does she know…)

  3. Such a thorough word picture of Lucy. If Jane had only given us her physical attributes, we would have been floundering as to who she really was, It’s funny how you can read her books and miss how many times she talks about sketching and chsracter at the sane time. Now I have to do some re-reading!

  4. No matter how many times one reads Jane Austen’s books, one always finds something new. Her use of language is what draws her readers to reread her books and never grow tired of them. Thank you for your informative article.

    • Thanks, Eva! Her books are certainly the rare ones you can read over and over and always find something new and delightful and never tire of doing!

  5. Jane use of dialogue to show the reader’s character is wonderful so much better than telling us or giving minute descriptions of their physical characteristics.

  6. Since I have no talent whatsoever for drawing, I have to admit to much preferring the “sketches with words” which allows, as dear Anne of Green Gables says, “more scope for imagination.” 😉

    Thank you, Kara, for a most *illustrious* post!

    Have a wonderful week, everyone!

    Susanne 🙂

  7. Very interesting discussion – I’d never noticed all the references to “Drawing” with words before, and don’t remember any lit profs ever pointing it out either. Thanks for the new lesson.

    • I have an ‘interest’ in writing and art, so the scene in P&P always jumped out at me. I had just never noticed her using it in the other novels.

  8. This series of posts has been so enlightening and educational. I like how Jane uses words that refer to the ‘art of drawing’ when providing her readers with a ‘picture’ of her characters!

  9. As another with no talent for drawing, I really appreciate your post, Kara. Jane Austen’s way of sketching with words is something that we all know and love. I can think of two JAFF books, without even trying, that have the word “Sketching” in their title, so it’s obvious that other authors have picked up on it too.

    • I can pick up one of her books and just read a page and smile, the same way I can look at a beautiful painting and smile. Thanks, Deborah.

  10. If you’ll excuse a light-hearted comment, Lady Catherine must had felt that Lizzy managed to complete that sketch of Darcy, or why else would she have accused Lizzy of having used all her art to have “drawn him in”?
    [“But your arts and allurements may, in a moment of infatuation, have made him forget what he owes to himself and to all his family. You may have drawn him in.”]

    You will now understand why Mr Darcy claims that my defect is a propensity to willfully misunderstand everyone.

  11. Very clever, Beatrice! But little did Lady Catherine know that ‘drawing him in’ was at one point the last thing Lizzy wanted to do! 🙂

  12. Pingback: Tratteggiare un carattere - Jane Austen Society of Italy (JASIT)

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