WAS JANE AUSTEN (1775-1817) BLACK? By Egmond Codfried

WAS JANE AUSTEN (1775-1817) BLACK?

The chief glory of nations is derived from their writers wrote Dr. Samuel Johnson (1708-1784). And many around the world deeply enjoy Jane Austen’s books and letters, of which the interpretation is constantly fine-tuned and made into movies and TV series. They study human behaviour and are satirical of human failings. Her style was based on Dr. Samuel Johnson’s: ‘cool, well-ordered, witty and incisive observations of life.’ But because Austen’s live straddled the decisive period around the French Revolution (1789-1795), her life, her books and surviving letters can also be mined for her ideas about the radical changing times. Although she wrote novels in the Romantic fashion: ‘The passion of Romantism did not inspire her.’ So I, because of my research interests, look for Austen’s ideas about the changing views on the emergence and the controversial role of Race. In this light, the fact that there is no credible portrait of Britain’s finest nineteen-century female writer should be considered as highly problematic. Jane Austen, properly read, might grow into our greatest activist in proclaiming the glory of Blacks.

Austen is very insistent about the brown and very brown complexion and the special beauty of her heroines. There can be no doubt that she is writing about brown, very brown and black skinned persons belonging to the gentry and aristocracy. Henry Crawford in Mansfield Park is ‘absolutely plain, black and plain.’ His description can be compared to the Moor, always a Classical African, in many eighteen-century scenes by painter Hogart, which show a Moor in the middle of a noble assembly. The Moor, often disguised as a servant, is one symbol of blue blood, and informs us about the true looks and high birth of the rest. In Northanger Abbey two women talk about there favourite complexion in a man: ‘dark or fair.’ This is answered as: ‘I hardly know. I never much thought about it. Something between both, I think. Brown—not fair, and not very dark.’ The other woman prefers light eyes and likes ‘a sallow better then any other.’ Marianna Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility is Austen’s ‘so lovely,’ ‘uncommonly brilliant’ and a delightful beauty: ‘in the common cant of praise, she was called a beautiful girl, truth was less violently outraged then usually happens.’ But only after all this staggering praise we are told that: ‘Her skin was very brown.’ The most famous of Austen’s heroines, Eliza Bennet from Pride and Prejudice is described deprecatingly by her rival in love, Miss Caroline Bingley, as: ‘grown brown and coarse.’ However, Mr. Darcy, their love interest; does not find any fault in that but perceives her as ‘tanned’ because of ‘travelling in summer.’ From The Watsons, we learn about its heroine Emma Watson: ‘Her skin was very brown, but clear, smooth, and glowing.’

Austen is clearly not talking about whites who happen to be more or less tanned. In a letter to her sister Cassandra Austen she mentions a Mrs. Blount with: ‘Her Pink husband & Fat neck.’ White skin is referred to as ‘Pink.’ She rather discusses the many shades we see among Blacks, in a way that Blacks today have abandoned. We consider this talk today as colorism, the dangerous antagonism between ‘good’ and ‘bad complexion.’ Emma Watson’s beauty does not ‘improve on acquaintance’ with everybody. Austen states: ‘Some saw no fault, and some no beauty.’ And: ‘With some her brown skin was the annihilation of every grace.’ But Miss Austen is clearly not fooling around when she discusses complexion. In Persuasion (1818) she never mentions brown or black complexion, but subtle yet with devastating force mentions ‘Gowland’ twice. She refers to real life Gowland’s Lotion, a skin-bleaching potion introduced in 1760. So it had grown into quite an institution in her lifetime. Although advertised as a panacea for many beauty problems, the real purpose was to bleach a black or brown skin by peeling with lead white, a corrosive ingredient. Lead white was also used during the Renaissance by Elizabeth I and Catherine de Medici, Queen of France, as a whitening make-up and bleaching agent named Venetian Cruse. By the addition of mercury derivates, another corrosive substance and called Spirit of Saturn, to Gowland’s, it also functions as our botox today, as it paralyses the facial muscles and causes a youthful radiance, but an immobile facial expression. Both substances are poisonous and their constant and excessive use attracted censure by scientists. Austen ascribes the use of Gowland to Sir Walter Elliot, the father of the heroine Anne Elliot, a personage with ‘an elegance of mind and sweetness of character.’ She had taken after her mother who was: ‘ an excellent woman, sensible and aimable.’ Austen introduced Sir Elliot, ‘Handsome with the blessing of beauty,’ through Anne’s eyes as a ‘failing’ and ‘conceited, silly father.’ So Austen decidedly rejects the skin-bleaching practises by the black and brown Europeans in her books.

The brown beauty of Emma and Eliza and the very brown beauty of Marianne and Emma Watson are reflected in the six detailed descriptions of Jane Austen by family and friends. Even to the controversial nature of the views of black and brown looks that we derive from her books. Austen is described as ‘in complexion she was a clear brunette with a rich colour’ (1864) and ‘- she had a bright but not a pink colour – a clear brown complexion’ and ‘she had clear brown skin.’ But the language also becomes cryptic: ‘Her pure and eloquent blood spoke in her cheeks,’ and needs deciphering. Her niece Eliza de Feuillide married a French aristocrat, who was guillotined during the French revolution (1789-1795), describes her looks as: ‘add to all this a very share of Tan with which I have contrived to heighten the native brown of my Complexion, during a two years residence in the country.’ One takes notice of the self-deprecating tone of voice, which is also encountered in the works by contemporary Isabelle de Charrière (1740-1805). She described herself as: ‘She does not have the white hands, she knows this and even jokes about it, but its not a laughing matter.’(1764) And in Lettres écrites de Lausanne (1785) her heroine Cécile is described by her doting mother as: ‘she would have been beautiful if her throat was whither.’(1 Jane Austen died young from a still unidentified disease and she wrote in a final letter: ‘I’m recovering my Looks a little, which have been bad enough, black and white & every wrong colour.’

The prevailing emphasise on brown and very brown skin in both her works and the way she herself was described, forces us to consider Jane Austen’s personal identity as Black. And there we are double crossed by the absence of a authenticated portrait which shows her own rich brown complexion and prettiness. In my ongoing research, my Blue Blood is Black Blood (1500-1789) Theory, I have already encountered so-called ‘missing’ portraits, or existing portraits which are not put on display in a museum, or those portraits which show the same person who is described as ‘basané’ (dark brown) and ‘chimney sweeper’ as a blue eyed, white man. This scandalous falsehood we also encounter in the present day depictions of Austen’s personages by white actors and actresses. Marianne Dashwood, who was ‘very brown,’ is played by the lovely Kate Winslet, who is blond and white. Jennifer Ehle is white but has ethnic looks, derived from her Rumanian grandmother, but does not look ‘brown’ nor ‘tanned’ as Austen describes Eliza Bennet.

Apparently, I’m not the only one who has discovered Jane Austen’s blackness. Yet where I welcome this as a valuable addition to my research after Blacks and coloured Europeans who were a dominating elite, others seek to deny, hide and submerge; denying Blacks the glory that derives from Black achievement and Black writers. The one un-authenticated portrait, which was acquired in 2002 by The Jane Austen Trust is supposed to show Cassandra Austen, but can be considered to be Jane’s, as it perfectly conforms to all her descriptions. Yet she will not be identified as Black because eurocentrism claims ‘There were no Blacks!’ Or what one might perceive as a Black is most likely a ‘Black Caucasian’ and not a ‘True Negro.’ As some might know that according to eurocentrism Africans should be divided in African Caucasians, who might be pitch black but display no prognatism, and True Negroes who are prognastic. Apparently an unforgivable offence. And eurocentrism will insist that there is no proof because we cannot employ biometric pliers to measure her skull to proof her a Negress. Or some easily disproved nonsense about Blacks who cannot be rendered in paintings. And their final obstacle is demanding a named Black ancestor, a ‘True Negro’ who is a ‘South of Sahara,’ person. Someone like Alexander Pushkin’s great-grandfather, Alexander Hannibal. Or Alexander Dumas’ father, General Dumas whose mother was an enslaved woman from Martinique. Yet Africa is just across the very narrow Straights of Gibraltar and Africans arrived 43.000 years ago. Whites, descendents of Albino’s who are in my experience just normal and healthy people who need a sunblock, are only 6000 years in Europe, coming from Central Asia. But mostly whites claim, unconvincingly, not to be the least interested in whether Jane Austen was white or Black, but rather focus on her work and personality. As if personality is not also informed by an ethnic identity. As if a writer can be studied without any reference to the personal context. Jane Austen also wrote about persons whose fortune was derived from slavery, as Isabelle de Charrière did about her own wealth. Fanny Price’s outburst against slavery is met with silence, in Mansfield Park, by the slaveholding Bertram family. Reverend George Austen, Jane’s father, acted as a trustee for a plantation on Antigua owned by Mr. Nibbs. Jane Austen was perfectly in the know about emerging views of Blacks. Does she refer to this when she cries out in a letter to her sister: ‘If I’m a wild Beast I cannot help it’ and ‘It is not my own fault.’ The Classical African who symbolised blue blood and black superiority was demoted to the base of the evolutionary ladder, a creature between the superior white Human and Apes. This also highlights the role of European Blacks in exploiting Africans in slavery. Yet eurocentrism blocks any dialogue or argument as if these views are dangerous and extremely pernicious and would threaten the very fundaments of the whole western civilisation. Any solicitation is met with rudeness and next dead silence. And even sabotage by library workers, as I have found out. Interesting is that on the Internet this portrait is shown out of focus which renders her prognastic lips fuzzy. And therein I find the reason for suppressing her portrait: Jane Austen displays clear Classical African features that make her Blackness undeniable.

The suppression of Jane Austens true portrait had already started during her lifetime and apparently no public portrait was issued by her in 1811 when she debuted with Sense and Sensibility. She knew that her ‘peculiar charm,’ which pointed to ‘the purity and eloquence of her blood’, put her straight in the line of fire of revolutionaries who violently brought down the Ancien Regime. This regime I have defined as Reversed Apartheid. Sadly, I sometimes have to point out to some that South African Apartheid was an unjust and a wholly evil system. Likewise Reversed Apartheid, but this Black and Coloured nation shaped Europe in the way we know it today. My research shows a great and universal scramble to amend ancestral portraits to hide Blackness, even to the point of defacement. Now I can safely place this panic around 1811. I have concluded that there most certainly were many portraits of Jane Austen adorning the walls of the stately homes of family and friends were she was received as a favourite relative and guest. Yet they displayed her Classical African features, a mark of ‘her pure blood,’ and thus became a liability. Black Europeans who considered their blackness as proof of their superiority over whites, who they derisively called ‘pink’ or ‘t Graauw’ (the Grey’s), were bullied into abstaining the propagation of Black Supremacy. As total revisionism was aimed at, I seriously doubt any documents toward this directive will be found. They would have defeated the revisionist purpose.

I consider the horrible practice of using white human skin for bookbinding’s by the Black nobility as further proof how some viewed their white subjects. But they still alluded to their superiority in jewellery and imagery with a Moor and what I perceive as cryptic phrases: ‘blue blood’ or ‘purity and eloquence of her blood.’ Austen’s heroines could have only been Blacks as she was Black and her pride was based on her blackness. She considered herself through her accomplishments as a writer combined with her blackness as a true aristocrat. The titled aristocrats are often portrayed in her books as: ‘ill-bred’, ‘sickly and crossed,’ ‘cold,’ ‘insignificant’ and ‘plain and awkward.’ And even the final blow by sweet Anne Elliot: ‘they are nothing.’ Jane Austen who was Black did not renounce Black Superiority if it was enforced by personal brilliance by applying ones talents to become accomplished. Mr. Darcy, the hero who ravaged Eliza Bennet’s heart, was extremely rich, but not a titled noble. His fortune was achieved by trade, thus by accomplishment. Austen’s family and publishers would have been perceived as promoters of Ancien Regime values and would have placed themselves in great danger if they would have promoted her portrait. Even Austen herself might have experienced ridicule, hatred, violence and harsh rejection based on her Black appearance. Yet through restorations the nobility slashed its way back into power but was finally subdued in 1848. And only then whites came into power, whitewashed European history, and claimed the glory like any conqueror would usurp the spoils of war.

The absence of a portrait of Jane Austen and the portrayal of her personages by white actresses should be viewed as the ongoing revisionism of history. Any European museum should be regarded as a church of revisionism because they show whitened copies, over painted authentic portraits and outright fake images of the black kings and nobles. A practice facilitated by these persons themselves by issuing whitened portraits. A look they achieved in real life with white face paint and bleaching crèmes. It seems that views from whites about Blacks were frozen in 1760, when nationhood was hence identified by colour. Queen Alexandra (1844-1925)(1902-1910) was famous for her beauty in advanced age, achieved by a practice called enamelling. She preferred an application of paint which made her pink all over. This technique also prescribed the careful application of blue pigments to the temple veins to heighten the illusion of a translucent, super white skin. Her rather lifeless and ethereal look suggests paralysed facial muscles by mercury derivates, as well. This miraculous vision of beauty was further enhanced with veils that blurred the view. Yet there are photographs which show her and her mother, Queen Louise of Denmark, as brown and frizzy haired. Her husband, Edward VII was a son of Queen Victoria, who was a granddaughter of Queen Charlotte-Sophie who’s ‘true mulatto’ and ‘brown’ looks were deemed ‘propagandistic’ and gave rise to many comments. Some over painted portraits of the elite show a solid pink face, and excessive and gruesome blue veins in the face and on the hands. This undoubtedly gave rise to the nonsense about the nobility to be very white and that blue blood meant blue veins showing. It could only be that frightened and indoctrinated coloured Europeans took to protecting themselves from the sun with umbrellas, veils and gloves, as Blacks tan easily.

This article should be understood in connection with my Blue Blood is Black Blood (1500-1789) thread elsewhere on this site and in Google. Any writer writes less then he knows; for sake of brevity, yet all my conclusions are based in facts. Voltaire was accused by his detractors of ‘inventing his own facts.’ What are facts? I reject eurocentrism which is supposedly based in ‘fact’ and ‘empirism’ yet its a fake and evil science to hide the traumatic fact that Europe was a Black Civilisation, with Blacks despotically oppressing whites. Nobody observed Evolution, no one reproduced Evolution, and there are many ‘Missing Links,’ yet to Evolutionist, the Evolution Theory is a fact, as it better explains nature and human descent then Genesis’s Believers can. No one should believe anything; they should research everything by google. The more sources to confirm a fact, the better. I will post more sources and welcome serious questions from readers. Whites seem to perceive Blacks as biased and therefore not capable to research these matters. But whites do not seem to suffer the same bias when researching the same matter. How come?

Egmond Codfried
The Hague
June 2010

[Dear Rasta Livewire, this is the introductory article for a new thread we have discussed. The two postings in this present thread should be added as sources to this new thread. I will be adding other sources and answer questions]

WAS JANE AUSTEN (1775-1817) BLACK?

The chief glory of nations is derived from their writers wrote Dr. Samuel Johnson (1708-1784). And many around the world deeply enjoy Jane Austen’s books and letters, of which the interpretation is constantly fine-tuned and made into movies and TV series. They study human behaviour and are satirical of human failings. Her style was based on Dr. Samuel Johnson’s: ‘cool, well-ordered, witty and incisive observations of life.’ But because Austen’s live straddled the decisive period around the French Revolution (1789-1795), her life, her books and surviving letters can also be mined for her ideas about the radical changing times. Although she wrote novels in the Romantic fashion: ‘The passion of Romantism did not inspire her.’ So I, because of my research interests, look for Austen’s ideas about the changing views on the emergence and the controversial role of Race. In this light, the fact that there is no credible portrait of Britain’s finest nineteen-century female writer should be considered as highly problematic. Jane Austen, properly read, might grow into our greatest activist in proclaiming the glory of Blacks.

Austen is very insistent about the brown and very brown complexion and the special beauty of her heroines. There can be no doubt that she is writing about brown, very brown and black skinned persons belonging to the gentry and aristocracy. Henry Crawford in Mansfield Park is ‘absolutely plain, black and plain.’ His description can be compared to the Moor, always a Classical African, in many eighteen-century scenes by painter Hogart, which show a Moor in the middle of a noble assembly. The Moor, often disguised as a servant, is one symbol of blue blood, and informs us about the true looks and high birth of the rest. In Northanger Abbey two women talk about there favourite complexion in a man: ‘dark or fair.’ This is answered as: ‘I hardly know. I never much thought about it. Something between both, I think. Brown—not fair, and not very dark.’ The other woman prefers light eyes and likes ‘a sallow better then any other.’ Marianna Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility is Austen’s ‘so lovely,’ ‘uncommonly brilliant’ and a delightful beauty: ‘in the common cant of praise, she was called a beautiful girl, truth was less violently outraged then usually happens.’ But only after all this staggering praise we are told that: ‘Her skin was very brown.’ The most famous of Austen’s heroines, Eliza Bennet from Pride and Prejudice is described deprecatingly by her rival in love, Miss Caroline Bingley, as: ‘grown brown and coarse.’ However, Mr. Darcy, their love interest; does not find any fault in that but perceives her as ‘tanned’ because of ‘travelling in summer.’ From The Watsons, we learn about its heroine Emma Watson: ‘Her skin was very brown, but clear, smooth, and glowing.’

Austen is clearly not talking about whites who happen to be more or less tanned. In a letter to her sister Cassandra Austen she mentions a Mrs. Blount with: ‘Her Pink husband & Fat neck.’ White skin is referred to as ‘Pink.’ She rather discusses the many shades we see among Blacks, in a way that Blacks today have abandoned. We consider this talk today as colorism, the dangerous antagonism between ‘good’ and ‘bad complexion.’ Emma Watson’s beauty does not ‘improve on acquaintance’ with everybody. Austen states: ‘Some saw no fault, and some no beauty.’ And: ‘With some her brown skin was the annihilation of every grace.’ But Miss Austen is clearly not fooling around when she discusses complexion. In Persuasion (1818) she never mentions brown or black complexion, but subtle yet with devastating force mentions ‘Gowland’ twice. She refers to real life Gowland’s Lotion, a skin-bleaching potion introduced in 1760. So it had grown into quite an institution in her lifetime. Although advertised as a panacea for many beauty problems, the real purpose was to bleach a black or brown skin by peeling with lead white, a corrosive ingredient. Lead white was also used during the Renaissance by Elizabeth I and Catherine de Medici, Queen of France, as a whitening make-up and bleaching agent named Venetian Cruse. By the addition of mercury derivates, another corrosive substance and called Spirit of Saturn, to Gowland’s, it also functions as our botox today, as it paralyses the facial muscles and causes a youthful radiance, but an immobile facial expression. Both substances are poisonous and their constant and excessive use attracted censure by scientists. Austen ascribes the use of Gowland to Sir Walter Elliot, the father of the heroine Anne Elliot, a personage with ‘an elegance of mind and sweetness of character.’ She had taken after her mother who was: ‘ an excellent woman, sensible and aimable.’ Austen introduced Sir Elliot, ‘Handsome with the blessing of beauty,’ through Anne’s eyes as a ‘failing’ and ‘conceited, silly father.’ So Austen decidedly rejects the skin-bleaching practises by the black and brown Europeans in her books.

The brown beauty of Emma and Eliza and the very brown beauty of Marianne and Emma Watson are reflected in the six detailed descriptions of Jane Austen by family and friends. Even to the controversial nature of the views of black and brown looks that we derive from her books. Austen is described as ‘in complexion she was a clear brunette with a rich colour’ (1864) and ‘- she had a bright but not a pink colour – a clear brown complexion’ and ‘she had clear brown skin.’ But the language also becomes cryptic: ‘Her pure and eloquent blood spoke in her cheeks,’ and needs deciphering. Her niece Eliza de Feuillide married a French aristocrat, who was guillotined during the French revolution (1789-1795), describes her looks as: ‘add to all this a very share of Tan with which I have contrived to heighten the native brown of my Complexion, during a two years residence in the country.’ One takes notice of the self-deprecating tone of voice, which is also encountered in the works by contemporary Isabelle de Charrière (1740-1805). She described herself as: ‘She does not have the white hands, she knows this and even jokes about it, but its not a laughing matter.’(1764) And in Lettres écrites de Lausanne (1785) her heroine Cécile is described by her doting mother as: ‘she would have been beautiful if her throat was whither.’(1 8) Jane Austen died young from a still unidentified disease and she wrote in a final letter: ‘I’m recovering my Looks a little, which have been bad enough, black and white & every wrong colour.’

The prevailing emphasise on brown and very brown skin in both her works and the way she herself was described, forces us to consider Jane Austen’s personal identity as Black. And there we are double crossed by the absence of a authenticated portrait which shows her own rich brown complexion and prettiness. In my ongoing research, my Blue Blood is Black Blood (1500-1789) Theory, I have already encountered so-called ‘missing’ portraits, or existing portraits which are not put on display in a museum, or those portraits which show the same person who is described as ‘basané’ (dark brown) and ‘chimney sweeper’ as a blue eyed, white man. This scandalous falsehood we also encounter in the present day depictions of Austen’s personages by white actors and actresses. Marianne Dashwood, who was ‘very brown,’ is played by the lovely Kate Winslet, who is blond and white. Jennifer Ehle is white but has ethnic looks, derived from her Rumanian grandmother, but does not look ‘brown’ nor ‘tanned’ as Austen describes Eliza Bennet.

Apparently, I’m not the only one who has discovered Jane Austen’s blackness. Yet where I welcome this as a valuable addition to my research after Blacks and coloured Europeans who were a dominating elite, others seek to deny, hide and submerge; denying Blacks the glory that derives from Black achievement and Black writers. The one un-authenticated portrait, which was acquired in 2002 by The Jane Austen Trust is supposed to show Cassandra Austen, but can be considered to be Jane’s, as it perfectly conforms to all her descriptions. Yet she will not be identified as Black because eurocentrism claims ‘There were no Blacks!’ Or what one might perceive as a Black is most likely a ‘Black Caucasian’ and not a ‘True Negro.’ As some might know that according to eurocentrism Africans should be divided in African Caucasians, who might be pitch black but display no prognatism, and True Negroes who are prognastic. Apparently an unforgivable offence. And eurocentrism will insist that there is no proof because we cannot employ biometric pliers to measure her skull to proof her a Negress. Or some easily disproved nonsense about Blacks who cannot be rendered in paintings. And their final obstacle is demanding a named Black ancestor, a ‘True Negro’ who is a ‘South of Sahara,’ person. Someone like Alexander Pushkin’s great-grandfather, Alexander Hannibal. Or Alexander Dumas’ father, General Dumas whose mother was an enslaved woman from Martinique. Yet Africa is just across the very narrow Straights of Gibraltar and Africans arrived 43.000 years ago. Whites, descendents of Albino’s who are in my experience just normal and healthy people who need a sunblock, are only 6000 years in Europe, coming from Central Asia. But mostly whites claim, unconvincingly, not to be the least interested in whether Jane Austen was white or Black, but rather focus on her work and personality. As if personality is not also informed by an ethnic identity. As if a writer can be studied without any reference to the personal context. Jane Austen also wrote about persons whose fortune was derived from slavery, as Isabelle de Charrière did about her own wealth. Fanny Price’s outburst against slavery is met with silence, in Mansfield Park, by the slaveholding Bertram family. Reverend George Austen, Jane’s father, acted as a trustee for a plantation on Antigua owned by Mr. Nibbs. Jane Austen was perfectly in the know about emerging views of Blacks. Does she refer to this when she cries out in a letter to her sister: ‘If I’m a wild Beast I cannot help it’ and ‘It is not my own fault.’ The Classical African who symbolised blue blood and black superiority was demoted to the base of the evolutionary ladder, a creature between the superior white Human and Apes. This also highlights the role of European Blacks in exploiting Africans in slavery. Yet eurocentrism blocks any dialogue or argument as if these views are dangerous and extremely pernicious and would threaten the very fundaments of the whole western civilisation. Any solicitation is met with rudeness and next dead silence. And even sabotage by library workers, as I have found out. Interesting is that on the Internet this portrait is shown out of focus which renders her prognastic lips fuzzy. And therein I find the reason for suppressing her portrait: Jane Austen displays clear Classical African features that make her Blackness undeniable.

The suppression of Jane Austens true portrait had already started during her lifetime and apparently no public portrait was issued by her in 1811 when she debuted with Sense and Sensibility. She knew that her ‘peculiar charm,’ which pointed to ‘the purity and eloquence of her blood’, put her straight in the line of fire of revolutionaries who violently brought down the Ancien Regime. This regime I have defined as Reversed Apartheid. Sadly, I sometimes have to point out to some that South African Apartheid was an unjust and a wholly evil system. Likewise Reversed Apartheid, but this Black and Coloured nation shaped Europe in the way we know it today. My research shows a great and universal scramble to amend ancestral portraits to hide Blackness, even to the point of defacement. Now I can safely place this panic around 1811. I have concluded that there most certainly were many portraits of Jane Austen adorning the walls of the stately homes of family and friends were she was received as a favourite relative and guest. Yet they displayed her Classical African features, a mark of ‘her pure blood,’ and thus became a liability. Black Europeans who considered their blackness as proof of their superiority over whites, who they derisively called ‘pink’ or ‘t Graauw’ (the Grey’s), were bullied into abstaining the propagation of Black Supremacy. As total revisionism was aimed at, I seriously doubt any documents toward this directive will be found. They would have defeated the revisionist purpose.

I consider the horrible practice of using white human skin for bookbinding’s by the Black nobility as further proof how some viewed their white subjects. But they still alluded to their superiority in jewellery and imagery with a Moor and what I perceive as cryptic phrases: ‘blue blood’ or ‘purity and eloquence of her blood.’ Austen’s heroines could have only been Blacks as she was Black and her pride was based on her blackness. She considered herself through her accomplishments as a writer combined with her blackness as a true aristocrat. The titled aristocrats are often portrayed in her books as: ‘ill-bred’, ‘sickly and crossed,’ ‘cold,’ ‘insignificant’ and ‘plain and awkward.’ And even the final blow by sweet Anne Elliot: ‘they are nothing.’ Jane Austen who was Black did not renounce Black Superiority if it was enforced by personal brilliance by applying ones talents to become accomplished. Mr. Darcy, the hero who ravaged Eliza Bennet’s heart, was extremely rich, but not a titled noble. His fortune was achieved by trade, thus by accomplishment. Austen’s family and publishers would have been perceived as promoters of Ancien Regime values and would have placed themselves in great danger if they would have promoted her portrait. Even Austen herself might have experienced ridicule, hatred, violence and harsh rejection based on her Black appearance. Yet through restorations the nobility slashed its way back into power but was finally subdued in 1848. And only then whites came into power, whitewashed European history, and claimed the glory like any conqueror would usurp the spoils of war.

The absence of a portrait of Jane Austen and the portrayal of her personages by white actresses should be viewed as the ongoing revisionism of history. Any European museum should be regarded as a church of revisionism because they show whitened copies, over painted authentic portraits and outright fake images of the black kings and nobles. A practice facilitated by these persons themselves by issuing whitened portraits. A look they achieved in real life with white face paint and bleaching crèmes. It seems that views from whites about Blacks were frozen in 1760, when nationhood was hence identified by colour. Queen Alexandra (1844-1925)(1902-1910) was famous for her beauty in advanced age, achieved by a practice called enamelling. She preferred an application of paint which made her pink all over. This technique also prescribed the careful application of blue pigments to the temple veins to heighten the illusion of a translucent, super white skin. Her rather lifeless and ethereal look suggests paralysed facial muscles by mercury derivates, as well. This miraculous vision of beauty was further enhanced with veils that blurred the view. Yet there are photographs which show her and her mother, Queen Louise of Denmark, as brown and frizzy haired. Her husband, Edward VII was a son of Queen Victoria, who was a granddaughter of Queen Charlotte-Sophie who’s ‘true mulatto’ and ‘brown’ looks were deemed ‘propagandistic’ and gave rise to many comments. Some over painted portraits of the elite show a solid pink face, and excessive and gruesome blue veins in the face and on the hands. This undoubtedly gave rise to the nonsense about the nobility to be very white and that blue blood meant blue veins showing. It could only be that frightened and indoctrinated coloured Europeans took to protecting themselves from the sun with umbrellas, veils and gloves, as Blacks tan easily.

This article should be understood in connection with my Blue Blood is Black Blood (1500-1789) thread elsewhere on this site and in Google. Any writer writes less then he knows; for sake of brevity, yet all my conclusions are based in facts. Voltaire was accused by his detractors of ‘inventing his own facts.’ What are facts? I reject eurocentrism which is supposedly based in ‘fact’ and ‘empirism’ yet its a fake and evil science to hide the traumatic fact that Europe was a Black Civilisation, with Blacks despotically oppressing whites. Nobody observed Evolution, no one reproduced Evolution, and there are many ‘Missing Links,’ yet to Evolutionist, the Evolution Theory is a fact, as it better explains nature and human descent then Genesis’s Believers can. No one should believe anything; they should research everything by google. The more sources to confirm a fact, the better. I will post more sources and welcome serious questions from readers. Whites seem to perceive Blacks as biased and therefore not capable to research these matters. But whites do not seem to suffer the same bias when researching the same matter. How come?

Egmond Codfried
The Hague
June 2010
egmondcodfried@hotmail.com
Egmond Codfried
1

11 thoughts on “WAS JANE AUSTEN (1775-1817) BLACK? By Egmond Codfried”

  1. WAS JANE AUSTEN (1775-1817) BLACK?
    Posted on Behalf of Egmond Codfried

    SOURCES: Quotes from her books
    and “Gowland’s Lotion.’
    [quote] ‘[Henry Crawford], was not handsome; no, when they first saw him, he was absolutely plain, black and plain; but still he was the gentleman, -Northanger Abbey[/quote]
    [quote] Oh! They give themselves such airs. They are the most conceited creatures in the world, and think themselves of so much importance! By the by, though I have thought of it a hundred times, I have always forgot to ask you what is your favourite complexion in a man. Do you like them best dark or fair?”
    “I hardly know. I never much thought about it. Something between both, I think. Brown–not fair, and–and not very dark.”
    “Very well, Catherine. That is exactly he. I have not forgot your description of Mr. Tilney–’a brown skin, with dark eyes, and rather dark hair.’ Well, my taste is different. I prefer light eyes, and as to complexion–do you know–I like a sallow better than any other. You must not betray me, if you should ever meet with one of your acquaintance answering that description.” -Northanger Abbey[/quote]
    [quote] Emma Watson was not more than of the middle height, well made and plump, with an air of healthy vigour. Her skin was very brown, but clear, smooth, and glowing, which, with a lively eye, a sweet smile, and an open countenance, gave beauty to attract, and expression to make that beauty improve on acquaintance. […]The next morning brought a great many visitors. It was the way of the place always to call on Mrs. Edwards the morning after a ball, and this neighbourly inclination was increased in the present instance by a general spirit of curiosity on Emma`s account, as everybody wanted to look again at the girl who had been admired the night before by Lord Osborne. Many were the eyes, and various the degrees of approbation with which she was examined. Some saw no fault, and some no beauty. With some her brown skin was the annihilation of every grace, and others could never be persuaded that she was half so handsome as Elizabeth Watson had been ten years ago. -The Watsons[/quote]
    [quote] Miss Dashwood had a delicate complexion, regular features, and a remarkably pretty figure. Marianne was still handsomer. Her form, though not so correct as her sister’s, in having the advantage of height, was more striking; and her face was so lovely, that when, in the common cant of praise, she was called a beautiful girl, truth was less violently outraged than usually happens. Her skin was very brown, but, from its transparency, her complexion was uncommonly brilliant; her features were all good; her smile was sweet and attractive; and in her eyes, which were very dark, there was a life, a spirit, an eagerness, which could hardily be seen without delight. From Willoughby their expression was at first held back, by the embarrassment which the remembrance of his assistance created. But when this passed away, when her spirits became collected, when she saw that to the perfect good breeding of the gentleman, he united frankness and vivacity, and above all, when she heard him declare, that of music and dancing he was passionately fond, she gave him such a look of approbation, as secured the largest share of his discourse to herself for the rest of his stay.-Sense and sensibility[/quote]
    [quote] “Did you ever see such a skin? — such smoothness! such delicacy! — and yet without being actually fair. –One cannot call her fair. It is a most uncommon complexion, with her dark eye-lashes and hair — a most distinguishing complexion! So peculiarly the lady in it. –Just colour enough for beauty.”
    “I have always admired her complexion,” replied Emma, archly; “but do not I remember the time when you found fault with her for being so pale? –When we first began to talk of her. –Have you quite forgotten?”-Emma[/quote]
    [quote] “How very ill Eliza Bennet looks this morning, Mr Darcy,” [Caroline Bingley] cried; “I never in my life saw any one so much altered as she is since the winter. She is grown so brown and coarse! Louisa and I were agreeing that we should not have known her again.”
    However little Mr Darcy might have liked such an address, he contented himself with coolly replying that he perceived no other alteration than her being rather tanned — no miraculous consequence of traveling in the summer.
    “For my own part,” she rejoined, “I must confess that I never could see any beauty in her. Her face is too thin; her complexion has no brilliancy; and her features are not at all handsome. Her nose wants character; there is nothing marked in its lines. Her teeth are tolerable, but not out of the common way; and as for her eyes, which have sometimes been called so fine, I never could perceive any thing extraordinary in them.”-Pride and Prejudice[/quote]
    Quote;
    “Gowland’s Lotion
    During the Regency the Gowland’s Lotion may have been the most famous of them all. Prepared by Macdonald, Humbert, & co. in Longacre, it was priced at 9d. 3d. per Half Pints, 2s. 3d. for a Pint and 6s. the Quart. e Said to cure everything from pimples to scrophula, this lotion was a must have for the fashionable lady of the era. It was not for everyday use but to combat sudden eruptions of the skin, sunburn etc. In Modern domestic medicine f Thomas John Graham commented “These red, stationary pimples in the face, form a complaint called by professional men gutta rosea, and are often a source of much disgust to the female part of society. Gowland’s lotion is a favourite remedy for their removal; but, as it is a solution of corrosive sublimate, it is by no means safe.”
    The Medical lexicon g gives the following information on the recipe: “Lotion, Gowland’s. An empirical preparation (Bitter almond, sugar, distilled water. Grind together, strain and add corrosive sublimate, previously ground with spiritus vini rectified.) Used on obstinate eruptions.” and The Modern Practice of Physic h further explains the formula as “A remedy much employed by women who are troubled with eruptions in the face is Gowland’s lotion, the basis of which is the oxymuriate of mercury or superacetate of lead; but it is a hazardous application when continued for any length of time.” It was obviously best suited to oily skin, although the addition of mercury and/or lead would indeed make it unsafe!
    © 1999-2010 Yvonne Forsling

    1. WAS JANE AUSTEN BLACK?
    “In person she was very attractive; 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 wellformed bright hazel eyes, and brown hair forming natural curls close round her face.”
    James-Edward Austen,
    Jane’s nephew
    ~
    “… certainly pretty-bright & a good deal of colour in her face – like a doll – no that would not give at all the idea for she had so much expression – she was like a child – quite a child very lively and full of humour.”
    Mr Fowle,
    family friend
    ~
    “… her’s was the first face I can remember thinking pretty … Her hair, a darkish brown, curled naturally – it was in short curls round her face…Her face was rather round than long – she had a bright but not a pink colour – a clear brown complexion and very good hazel eyes. Her hair, a darkish brown, curled naturally, it was in short curls around her face. She always wore a cap … before she left Steventon she was established as a very pretty girl, in the opinion of most of her neighbours.”
    Caroline Austen,
    Jane’s niece
    ~
    “Her hair was dark brown and curled naturally, her large dark eyes were widely opened and expressive. She had clear brown skin and blushed so brightly and so readily.”
    An early description of young Jane at Steventon by Sir Egerton Brydges
    ~
    “She was tall and slender; her face was rounded with a clear brunette complexion and bright hazel eyes. Her curly brown hair
    escaped all round her forehead, but from the time of her coming to live at Chawton she always wore a cap, except when her nieces had her in London and forbade it.”
    Edward Austen Leigh of Jane’s appearence in the years just after the family left Southampton
    ~
    ” Her stature rather exceeded the middle height; her carriage and deportment were quiet but graceful; her complexion of the finest texture, it might with truth be said that her eloquent blood spoke through her modest
    cheek.”
    ” Her pure and eloquent blood spake in her cheeks and so distinctly wrought that you had almost said her body thought.”
    Henry Austen said of his sister
    ~
    http://www.jasa.net.au/images/austen.htm

  2. [Dear Rasta, hereby the image I discuss. It would look nice on top of the article. And also hereby the corrected version of this article. You have printed the article twice. Could you replace the present version with this better one? A pity the spacing in the sources, quotes from her books, has gone. Thank you.]

    http://www.jasa.net.au/images/cassportrait.jpg

    [Cassandra Austen (1773-1845), or Jane Austen (1775-1817)]

    WAS JANE AUSTEN (1775-1817) BLACK?

    By Egmond Codfried

    The chief glory of nations is derived from their writers wrote Dr. Samuel Johnson (1708-1784). And many around the world deeply enjoy Jane Austen’s books and letters, of which the interpretation is constantly fine-tuned and made into movies and TV series. They study human behaviour and are satirical of human failings. Her style was based on Dr. Samuel Johnson’s: ‘cool, well-ordered, witty and incisive observations of life.’ But because Austen’s live straddled the decisive period around the French Revolution (1789-1795), her life, her books and surviving letters can also be mined for her ideas about the radical changing times. Although she wrote novels in the Romantic fashion: ‘The passion of Romantism did not inspire her.’ So I, because of my research interests, look for Austen’s ideas about the changing views on the emergence and the controversial role of Race. In this light, the fact that there is no credible portrait of Britain’s finest nineteen-century female writer should be considered as highly problematic. Jane Austen, properly read, might grow into our greatest activist in proclaiming the glory of Blacks.

    Austen is very insistent about the brown and very brown complexion and the special beauty of her heroines. There can be no doubt that she is writing about brown, very brown and black skinned persons belonging to the gentry and aristocracy. Henry Crawford in Mansfield Park (1814) is ‘absolutely plain, black and plain.’ His description can be compared to the Moor, always a Classical African, in many eighteen-century scenes by painter Wiiliam Hogarth (1697-1764), which show a Moor in the middle of a noble assembly. The Moor, often disguised as a servant, is one symbol of blue blood, and informs us about the true looks and high birth of the company. In Northanger Abbey (1818) two women talk about there favourite complexion in a man: ‘dark or fair.’ This is answered as: ‘I hardly know. I never much thought about it. Something between both, I think. Brown—not fair, and not very dark.’ The other woman prefers light eyes and likes ‘a sallow better then any other.’ Marianna Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility (1811) is Austen’s heroine who is ‘so lovely,’ ‘uncommonly brilliant’ and a delightful beauty: ‘that when, in the common cant of praise, she was called a beautiful girl, truth was less violently outraged then usually happens.’ But only after all this staggering praise we are told that: ‘Her skin was very brown.’ The most famous of Austen’s heroines, Eliza Bennet from Pride and Prejudice (1813) is described deprecatingly by her rival in love, Miss Caroline Bingley, as: ‘grown brown and coarse’ and ‘her complexion has no brilliancy.’ However, Mr. Darcy, their love interest; does not find any fault in any of that but perceives her as ‘rather tanned’ because of her ‘travelling in summer.’ From The Watsons, we learn about its heroine Emma Watson: ‘Her skin was very brown, but clear, smooth, and glowing.’

    Austen is clearly not talking about whites who happen to be more or less tanned. In a letter to her sister Cassandra Austen she mentions a Mrs. Blount with: ‘Her Pink husband & Fat neck’ (20-21 November 1800). White skin is referred to as ‘Pink.’ She rather discusses the many shades we see among Blacks, in a way that Blacks today have abandoned. We consider this talk today as colorism, the dangerous antagonism between ‘good’ and ‘bad complexion.’ So naturally Emma Watson’s beauty does not ‘improve on acquaintance’ with everybody. Austen states: ‘Some saw no fault, and some no beauty.’ And: ‘With some her brown skin was the annihilation of every grace.’ But Miss Austen is clearly not fooling around when she discusses complexion. In Persuasion (1818) she never mentions brown or black complexion, but subtle yet with devastating force mentions ‘Gowland’ twice. She refers to real life Gowland’s Lotion, a skin-bleaching potion introduced in 1760. So it had grown into quite an institution in her lifetime. Although advertised as a panacea for many beauty problems, the real purpose was to bleach a black or brown skin by peeling with lead white, a corrosive ingredient. Lead white was also used during the Renaissance by Elizabeth I and Catherine de Medici, Queen of France, as a whitening make-up and bleaching agent named Venetian Ceruse or Spirits of Saturn. By the addition of mercury derivates, another corrosive substance, to Gowland’s, it also functions as our Botox today, as it paralyses the facial muscles and causes a youthful radiance, but an immobile facial expression. Both substances are poisonous and their constant and excessive use attracted censure by scientists. Austen ascribes the use of Gowland to Sir Walter Elliot, the father of the heroine Anne Elliot. Her personage had ‘an elegance of mind and sweetness of character.’ She had taken after her mother who was: ‘ an excellent woman, sensible and amiable.’ Austen introduced Sir Elliot as: ‘Handsome with the blessing of beauty,’ through Anne’s eyes, and as a ‘failing’ and ‘conceited, silly father.’ So we may assume Austen decidedly rejects the skin-bleaching practises by the black and brown Europeans in her books.

    The brown beauty of Emma and Eliza and the very brown beauty of Marianne and Emma Watson are reflected in the six detailed descriptions of Jane Austen by her family and friends. Even towards the controversial nature of the views of black and brown looks that we can derive from her books. Austen is described as: ‘in complexion she was a clear brunette with a rich colour’ (1864) and: ‘- she had a bright but not a pink colour – a clear brown complexion’ and: ‘she had clear brown skin.’ But the language also becomes cryptic: ‘Her pure and eloquent blood spoke in her cheeks,’ and needs deciphering. Her niece Eliza de Feuillide (1761-1813) married a French aristocrat, who was guillotined during the French revolution (1789-1795), describes her own looks as: ‘add to all this a very share of Tan with which I have contrived to heighten the native brown of my Complexion, during a two years residence in the country.’ One takes notice of the self-deprecating tone of voice, which is also encountered in the works by contemporary Isabelle de Charrière (1740-1805). She described herself as: ‘She does not have the white hands, she knows this and even jokes about it, but its not a laughing matter.’(1764) And in Lettres écrites de Lausanne (1785) her heroine Cécile is described by her doting mother as: ‘she would have been beautiful if her throat was whither.’ Jane Austen died young from a still unidentified disease and she wrote in a final letter: ‘I’m recovering my Looks a little, which have been bad enough, black and white & every wrong colour.’(1817)

    The prevailing emphasise on brown and very brown skin in both her works and the way she herself was described, forces us to consider Jane Austen’s personal identity as Black. And there we are double crossed by the absence of an authenticated portrait which shows her own rich brown complexion and prettiness. In my ongoing research, my Blue Blood is Black Blood (1500-1789) Theory (2005), I have already encountered some so-called ‘missing’ portraits, which however do exist, or existing portraits which are not put on display in a museum because of African looks, or those portraits which show the same person who is described as ‘noir et basané’ (black brown) and ‘chimney sweeper’ as a blue eyed, white man. This scandalous falsehood we also encounter in the present day depictions of Austen’s personages by white actors and actresses. Marianne Dashwood, who was ‘very brown,’ is played by the lovely Miss Kate Winslet, who is blond and white. Miss Jennifer Ehle is white and has ethnic looks, derived from her Rumanian grandmother, but does not look ‘brown’ nor ‘’rather tanned’ as Austen describes Eliza Bennet.

    Apparently, I’m not the only one who has discovered Jane Austen’s blackness. Yet where I welcome this as a valuable addition to my research after Blacks and coloured Europeans who were a dominating elite, others seek to deny, hide and submerge. They are denying Blacks the glory that derives from Black achievement and Black writers. The one un-authenticated portrait, which was acquired in 2000 by The Jane Austen Trust is supposed to show Cassandra Austen, but can be considered to be Jane’s, as it perfectly conforms to all her descriptions. Yet she will not be identified by them as Black because eurocentrism claims ‘There were no Blacks!’ Or what one might perceive as a Black is most likely a ‘Black Caucasian’ and not a ‘True Negro,’ they say. As some might know that according to eurocentrism Africans should be divided in African Caucasians, who might be pitch black but display no prognatism, and the ‘True Negroes’ who are prognastic. Apparently an unforgivable offence, we will see. And eurocentrism will blithely insist that there is no proof because we cannot employ biometric pliers to measure Austen’s skull to proof her a Negress. Or some easily disproved nonsense about Blacks who cannot be rendered in paintings. And their final obstacle is demanding from a researcher a Black ancestor, who must be named. And has to be a ‘True Negro’ who is a SSA, from below the ‘South of Sahara.’. Someone, just like Alexander Pushkin’s great-grandfather, Abraham Hannibal. Or Alexander Dumas’ father, General Dumas whose mother was an enslaved woman from Martinique. Yet Africa is just across the very narrow Straights of Gibraltar and Africans first arrived 43.000 years ago in Europe. Who knows their names? Whites, descendents of Albino’s who are in my experience just normal and healthy people who need a sunblock, are only 6000 years in Europe, coming from Central Asia. But mostly whites claim, unconvincingly, not to be the least interested in whether Jane Austen was white or Black, but rather focus on her work and personality. As if personality is not also informed by an ethnic identity. As if any writer can be studied without some reference to the personal context. Jane Austen also wrote about persons whose fortune was derived from slavery, as Isabelle de Charrière did and struggled with her own wealth. Fanny Price’s outburst against slavery is met with silence, in Mansfield Park, by the slaveholding Bertram family. Reverend George Austen (1731-1805), Jane’s father, acted as a trustee for a plantation on Antigua owned by Mr. Nibbs. Jane Austen was perfectly in the know about emerging views of Blacks. Does she refer to this when she cries out in a letter to her sister: ‘If I’m a wild Beast I cannot help it’ and ‘It is not my own fault.’(1813) The Moor, the Classical African who symbolised blue blood and black superiority was demoted to the base of the evolutionary ladder, now a creature between the superior white Human and Apes. This part also highlights the role of European Blacks in exploiting Africans in slavery. Yet eurocentrism blocks any dialogue or argument as if these views are dangerous and extremely pernicious and would threaten the very fundaments of the whole western civilisation. Any solicitation is met with rudeness and next dead silence. And even sabotage by library workers, as I have found out. Interesting is that on the Internet this portrait is shown out of focus which renders her prognastic lips fuzzy. And therein I find the reason for suppressing her portrait: Jane Austen displays clear Classical African features that make her Blackness undeniable.

    The suppression of Jane Austen’s true portrait had already started during her lifetime and apparently no public portrait was issued by her in 1811 when she debuted with Sense and Sensibility. She knew that her ‘peculiar charm,’ which pointed to ‘the purity and eloquence of her blood’, put her straight in the line of fire of revolutionaries who had violently brought down the Ancien Regime. This regime I have defined as Reversed Apartheid. Sadly, I sometimes have to point out to some that South African Apartheid was an unjust and a wholly evil system. Likewise Reversed Apartheid, but this Black and Coloured nation shaped Europe in the way we know it today. My research shows a great and universal scramble to amend ancestral portraits to hide Blackness, even to the point of defacement. Now I can safely push back this panic to at least around 1811. I have concluded that there most certainly were many portraits of Jane Austen adorning the walls of the stately homes of family and friends were she was received as a favourite relative and guest. Yet they displayed her Classical African features, a mark of ‘her pure blood,’ and thus became a liability. Black Europeans who considered their blackness as proof of their superiority over whites, who they derisively called ‘Pink’ or ‘t Graauw’ (the Grey’s), were bullied into abstaining the propagation of Black Supremacy. As total revisionism was aimed at, I seriously doubt any documents toward this directive will be found. They would have defeated the revisionist purpose.

    I consider the horrible practice of using white human skin for bookbinding’s by the Black nobility as further proof how some viewed their white subjects. But they still alluded to their black superiority with jewellery and imagery with Moors and what I perceive as cryptic phrases: ‘blue blood,’ ‘not the white hands’ or ‘the purity and eloquence of her blood.’ Austen’s heroines could have only been Blacks as she was Black and her pride was based on her blackness. She considered herself through her accomplishments as a writer combined with her blackness as a true noble. The titled aristocrats are often portrayed in her books as: ‘ill-bred’, ‘sickly and crossed,’ ‘cold,’ ‘insignificant’ and ‘plain and awkward.’ And even the final blow by sweet Anne Elliot: ‘they are nothing.’ Jane Austen who was Black did not renounce Black Superiority if it was enforced by personal brilliance by applying ones talents to become accomplished. Mr. Darcy, the ideal hero who ravaged Eliza Bennet’s heart, was extremely rich, but not a titled noble. His fortune was achieved by trade, thus by accomplishment. And his housekeeper said: `He is the best landlord, and the best master,’ Austen’s family and publishers would have been perceived as promoters of Ancien Regime values and would have placed themselves in great danger if they would have promoted her portrait. Even Austen herself might have experienced ridicule, hatred, violence and harsh rejection based on her Black appearance. Yet through restorations the nobility slashed its way back into power but was finally subdued in 1848. And only then whites came into power, whitewashed European history, and claimed the glory like any conqueror would usurp the spoils of war.

    The absence of a portrait of Jane Austen and the portrayal of her personages by white actresses should be viewed as the ongoing revisionism of history. Any European museum should be regarded as a Church of Revisionism because they show whitened copies, over painted authentic portraits and outright fake images of the black kings and nobles. A practice facilitated by these persons themselves by issuing whitened portraits. A look they did achieved in real life with white face paint and bleaching crèmes. It seems that the views from whites about Blacks were frozen in 1760, when nationhood was hence identified by colour. Queen Alexandra (1844-1925) (1902-1910) was famous for her beauty in advanced age, achieved by a practice called enamelling. She preferred an application of paint which made her pink all over. This technique also prescribed the careful application of blue pigments to the temple veins to heighten the illusion of a translucent, super white skin. Her rather lifeless and ethereal look suggests paralysed facial muscles by mercury derivates, as well. This miraculous vision of beauty was then further enhanced with mysterious veils that blurred the view. Yet there are photographs which show her and her mother, Queen Louise of Denmark, as brown and frizzy haired. Her husband, Edward VII was a son of Queen Victoria, who was a granddaughter of Queen Charlotte-Sophie whose ‘true mulatto’ and ‘brown’ looks were deemed ‘propagandistic’ and gave rise to many comments. Some over painted portraits of the nobility show a solid pink face, and excessive, gruesome blue veins in the face and on the hands. This undoubtedly gave rise to the nonsense about the nobility to be very white and that blue blood meant blue veins showing. It could only be understood that frightened and indoctrinated coloured Europeans took to protecting themselves from the sun with umbrellas, veils and gloves, as Blacks tan easily.

    This article should be understood in connection with my Blue Blood is Black Blood (1500-1789) thread elsewhere on this site and in Google. Any writer writes less then he knows; for sake of brevity, yet all my conclusions are based in facts and argument. Voltaire was accused by his detractors of ‘inventing his own facts.’ What are facts? I reject eurocentrism which is supposedly based in ‘fact’ and ‘empirism’ yet its a fake and evil science to hide the traumatic fact that Europe was a Black Civilisation, with Blacks despotically oppressing whites. Nobody observed Evolution, no one reproduced Evolution, and there are many ‘Missing Links,’ yet to Evolutionist, the Evolution Theory is a fact, as it better explains nature and human descent then Genesis’s Believers can. No one should believe anything; they should research everything by Google. The more sources to confirm a fact, the better. I will post more sources and welcome serious questions from readers. Whites seem to perceive Blacks as biased and therefore not capable to research these matters. But whites do not seem to suffer the same bias when researching the same matter. How come?

    Egmond Codfried
    The Hague
    June 2010

  3. Dear Madam,

    Your forum came up when I punched Jane Austen + forum in google, but only you show true friendliness, independence of mind and a most prudent distrust of historians. Never loose these qualities. But speaking of qualities; it’s incumbent on me to thank you for showing excellent judgement by not accusing me about three times of having an agenda. So I’m looking out for you when I urge you to discard all prejudices you might have been taught about Blacks, just like all men should discard their prejudices they were taught about women. I’m like Mrs. Norris, only when she is speaking with Jane Austen’s voice: ‘My object, Lady Bertram, is to be of use to those that come after me […] and [enable me] to live so as not to disgrace the memory of the dear departed.’

    I have pointed out to you some passages that scholars have consciously ignored since 1860 and have asked you to use your own powers of understanding. When you write: ‘Your quote from the Watsons would seem very apropos but for the fact that the Watsons are by far the poorest family Austen ever depicted,’ you are taking a step forward and many backwards because you mix two observations that are not related. You assume that a Black identified writer will only show all Blacks in a favourable light, and whites as devils. That’s not what I have learned about good writing, and nobody surpasses Jane Austen in that department.

    Personally I do not find Mr. Henry Crawford such a despicable person; neither did Sir Bertram, nor did the Miss Bertrams, nor did Edmund. His excellent sisters dote on him! He is a flirt and he hits on those who like to flirt, even though they are engaged to be married and should know better, and were warned too. I assume him a virgin until Maria Bertram, a married woman, seduced him. My only quibble with Mr. Crawford is that he would accuse Maria, like Adam accused Eve, for leading him astray. However; Maria Bertram did not rape him. Like a truly high-born lady she was able to contain herself for a maximum of six months. Any ordinary women would have him as soon as she could get her hands on him, in the Mansfield Park shrubbery, for instance. If I were a woman I would have married Mr. Crawford in a heartbeat, even claiming pregnancy if I must, and if he took lovers, so would I. As a wife of his I would have many resources to gratify all my needs. I’m joking a bit, but I do not find him such a sinner, nor would I throw the first stone.

    But seriously, I take my cue from her nephew who writes about readers with ‘true abilities’ and they, like me, will understand ‘pure and eloquent blood.’ The rest who came after are victims of revisionism. All of Austen’s books take the same stand, are one concept of the world. ‘Black’ as in Emma, should be ‘black’ as in M.P. and Mr. Crawford, following your fancy, should be a vicar too; which most definitely he is not. Black or brown girls have black or brown sisters, who might have regular or irregular features, as not all Black girls are beauties nor are all Black girls ugly. I almost believe you not to be a native English speaker, like me, by your struggling with the word ‘fair.’ This word has many meanings, like ‘the fairer sex’ includes all women, even if they are coal black or hideously ugly with a moustache; they remain members of the fairer sex. Then you have your Ex-Miss America Vanessa Williams who is Black, but quite fair. The runner-up who replaced her, when those gynaecological photo’s came out in Playboy, was much browner. The Bertrams are ‘fair,’ lighter then Mary Crawford, yet all the Bertrams are so exceedingly greedy for the Crawfords. And because they shunned poor Mrs. Price for so many years, we know how they feel about mix-race marriages. There is no pure Black blood, I never made that claim, but Mr. Crawford is pitch-black, for sure. Yet even Rushworth finds only fault with his length and Fanny does not think him handsome at all. There is never a slur on his black skin. Instead, he is a natural Shakespeare reader, gentlemanly, educated, perfect manners, countenance, charming, caring and an accomplished landlord; a quintessential British gentleman and a true Renaissance man.

    My other latest brainwave regards Eliza Bennet whose brown complexion strikes fear in the hearts off both Caroline Bingley and Lady de Bourgh. Not a beauty, nor rich she has something they do not have: colour. This by Austen’s equates with health. Darcy is not an aristocrat, but came from trade. It’s his accomplishments as a good landlord and a good master which make him worthy to have Eliza Bennet. He is Black but some colour is wanting. Like with Jane Fairfax.

    Complexion is complex, texture and health play a role. You might know that black skin is thinner then white skin, and if the blackest person scrapes his knee you will see the white, non-pigmented skin layers. Some exceptional black or brown beauties have a very transparent upper skin which shows the white underlying skin and give a certain ‘translucence’ or brilliancy to their skin. It would be like brown, opaque, silk velvet versus brown silk chiffon. This I learned after reading Austen and going out in the street to actually look at women and men and the qualities of their complexions. I advise everyone to do the same.

    To finish, please hold on to your scepticism rather then your skepticism, and favour me with your questions, rather then favor, and do not be fueled by acquiescence but be fuelled by a distrust of revisionist historians. I have been addressing you, not the Austenites, nor the Austen family. This Austen research is just a sub part from my Blue blood is Black blood (1500-1789) research and confirms everything I have been saying since 2005. My improvements are my method of identifying a person as Black, by accepting that Blacks, like the Irish or Jews, have an identity. Like you would not go and measure someone’s ears or nose to determine his Jewish identity, so the nuance of black skin on Blacks, is of less importance. There are more or less Classical African features among people of colour, which do not automatically exclude them from beauty. As a writer, Austen gives clues about her identity by writing about matters which concern Blacks: Blacks among a majority of whites, Blacks losing power, Black beauty versus white beauty, mix-marriage, skin bleaching with Gowland’s and rouging with white face-paint. And we are provided with at least eight descriptions which state that Jane Austen herself was dark brown. As to the plausibility of gentle families who are black and coloured, the extended Austen family is proof. Comtesse Eliza de Feuillide describes herself as ‘the native brown of my Complexion,’ and is proud to show off her Tan.

    Thank you and god bless

    Your Friend and well wisher,

    Egmond Codfried
    The Hague
    The Netherlands & Surinam

  4. [b]JANE AUSTEN IS ALL ABOUT BLACKNESS[/b]

    Blacks need to research history to liberate themselves. They have to find out what was stolen from them and claim it back, in order to strengthen their identity. Who are we, where do we come from, what is our history, where did it go wrong, when and why? That eurocentrist will hijack Black History, as the British sites about historical blacks indicate, will just not do. Since I have started my research there been historical blacks ‘discovered.’ A grand total of five. At this rate it will last forever. What do we care about one ‘black’ woman in a British Roman cemetery? And black by who’s definition? We know there were Blacks in the Greek and Roman world and they shared equal status with whites.

    Blackness is more a question of identity then head shape or DNA There are those with a Irish or Jewish identity, which has nothing to do with the length or shape of their noses, but their ideas, ideals, problems, geographical movements, politics, solidarities etc.

    Snowden in Blacks in Antiquity (1971)has proven that there was no racism as we know it today in antiquity, but rather 20th century American researchers imposing their racist views on the ‘colour-blind’ Greeks and the Romans. The Greeks were aware that Egypt was the source of their civilisation. And they did not have rules against race-mixing. They understood black skin only as an adaptation to environment. And they looked up to Africans, as blameless. Africans were the favourites of the Olympian gods, who would spend 11 days each year to feast with the Africans. The war god Mars was represented as a black man.

    The political issues surrounding Cleopatra have no bearing at all to us living today. Declaring Cleopatra black, according to the definitions of eurocentrism, is of no use to blacks living today, dealing with the racism today. Race Theory and Racism is a liberation ideology starting in 1760, to free Europe from a reversed apartheid system, when the nobility and royally was black identified. They intermarried because blue blood was black blood. Anyone who was not white was considered superior to whites. They were a fixed mulatto race from very fair to very black, some looking more African, Asian or white. But they shared a black identity: blue blood. The whites then were not the whites we know today. They were born in a system ruled by blacks and coloureds; they knew nothing else. If anyone questioned this system he was despotically silenced. This also explains the ferocity of the French Revolution which ended the Ancien Regime, which was black rule.

    Now I understand that blacks are frightened away from Jane Austen (1775-1817) because of all the blond actresses playing personages, who in fact are clearly described as very brown and black. Austen writes about things that still influence us today, the causes and the aftermath of the end of black rule in Europe. In Emma (1816) she points to the dangers of race-mixing and blacks trying to civilize whites and raising them to equal status. These are the causes of the downfall of blacks, their own folly. She was writing about historical realities, not wishful thinking. Emma is not a straight romantic story; it’s an allegory, its Black History and confirms my blue blood is black blood (1500-1789) research.

    On builds on the research of the ones who came before. There is no need for young blacks to go and rediscover the wheel time and time again. And we do not need whites to explain to us who is black and who is white. We are not that stupid! The sources are just the novels by Jane Austen who wrote for and about the 3 and 4 black families in an English country village, who were a gentle or noble elite. Towards self-improvement and to warn blacks about the dangers ahead. Austen teaches us the use of correct language, good manners, prudence, relations, culture, reading of good books and women rights. She shows how blacks have many colours or looks, invites us to look at blacks in all their diversity. She urges blacks not to be afraid to change or they might be loosing even more.

  5. UPDATE ON THE ‘WAS JANE AUSTEN (1775-1817) BLACK’ RESEARCH

    Today, the 17th of December we celebrate Jane Austen’s two hundred thirty-fifth birthday. A great writer who is celebrated for having done for the novel what Shakespeare did for playwriting. Her wit and her innovative, ‘realistic’ dealings with lifelike situations and a psychological insight in the workings and failings of the human mind; with believable characterisation, has stood the test of time and we can still readily understand her personages and their true and political motives. But what has been truly missing in all the many analyses by eurocentric scholars, the TV series and movies of her books as well as her biographical films and documentaries, is any reverence to her deep brown complexion and the ‘light brown, brown, very brown and black complexions’ of her central characters. This innovative research has already bloomed into about sixty pages, coming from the initial article, and is still growing, as there are still new insights to be found. The brochure, awaiting publishing, offers a foreword, introduction, definitions, methodology, conclusion, notes, many illustrations and a bibliography.

    My own reading of Jane Austen, based on who I am and what I know from years of research after native Black Europeans, compared to the general and scholarly portrayal of Jane Austen, her personages, political views and motives; has thrown up some serious problems that need solving. Amazingly, the many great scholars who analysed the lady’s life and her works to the hilt; choose as one body to disregard all the insistent and ample descriptions of complexion in her novels. Even when they are discussing her own looks, they often do not quote the ten or so detailed pen portraits by her family and friends, which speak of a pretty, rich brown complexioned woman. They sometimes print these quotes and her pen portraits but let the brownness remain unanswered. Why is Henry Austen quoting poet John Donne (1572-1634) when he speaks of his own sisters ‘pure and eloquent’ blood. Which pureness is he speaking of; to what distinctive nation did Jane Austen belong to? When they discuss her so called portrait by Cassandra Austen, which shows a nasty looking white woman, there is never any comparison made with how her own good, separate features and pleasant looks were described in real life. Or that Henry insisted to a publisher that ‘the family was not aware’ of any portrait, when this unlikely portrait later surfaced. That Austen herself did not issue a portrait when she debuted in 1811, and her insistence on secrecy about her authorship; adds to this mystery. So the big question is: why is there no authenticated portrait of Jane Austen? And why do white scholars disregard the abundance of colour.

    But first we need a rationale and workable definition of Black, which in my understanding of blackness; is a quality best discussed and analysed in terms of a person’s identity and history then actual skin colour or facial features. Or scull measurements or DNA. A Black person should next be considered as a functional part of a social and political group. A group who has experienced a common history, made certain geographical movements around the globe, has certain common cultural elements as in the general way of doing things, that creates a bond between the Blacks across oceans and across time. A Black identified writer, like Jane Austen will mainly talk about issues regarding Blacks, like how we expect a Jewish identified writer to write mostly about Jewish things, from a Jewish viewpoint. The shape of his nose does not inform us of his identity. And Blacks come in many shapes and nuances of colour, as Austen herself painstakingly points out with her novelistic pen portraits and letters.

    The idea of human races, as a predictable biological and a psychological phenomenon has long ago been discredited, yet is today still in full swing. Especially when it comes to identifying Blacks, in order to exclude Blacks from history. Like how pharaohs, Africans, are improbably turned into blue eyed, white potentates ruling over Blacks and overseeing the building of the pyramids! This makes one wonder why they did not built pyramids in Amsterdam, London or Paris; but in Africa? All studies and exhibitions about WWII routinely omit any discussion of Hitler’s Black victims. Like the so-called ‘Rhineland Bastards,’ the off-spring of French-Senegalese soldiers, part of the occupational army after WWI, and white German women. And other Blacks who were native German. Or the Black American soldiers who helped to fight fascism, ethnic cleansing and mass murder during WWII. All are curiously missing from the numerous and most recent studies about the Holocaust. These are some of the facts and questions that inform my approach. Can we disregard the colour of Hitler’s 50.000 Black victims, even when we know he had a special hatred for the Black, mixed-race Germans. He accused the Allies that they had deliberately brought in Africans to defile the German race with inferior blood. And do we agree when Black blood is spoken of as inferior? The Nazi’s sterilized, did medical experiments or simply murdered these Blacks and used some as camp overseers before all were gassed themselves. Now can we still disregard colour when Jane Austen herself dwells on and amplifies this quality in all her writings? When her godfather, mr. Nibbs was a plantation owner on Antigua, and she discusses slavery in Mansfield Park. And even her circle of family and friends cared to point out that she was not pink but brown.

    Her deliberate descriptions of her personages as Black or brown are necessary to make any sense of her Black oriented themes, and they must be taken into account to understand her identity and her intentions for writing her layered stories: when she did, and in the way that she did. The novel Emma (1816), in a Dutch translation falsely presents the key-line: ‘Mr. Elton, black, spruce, and smiling.’ as ‘Ds. Elton, keurig in het zwart, kwam glimlachend te voorschijn.’ (Reverend Elton, neat in black clothes, appeared smiling). Mr. Henry Crawford in Mansfield Park is definitely not a minister but is ‘absolutely plain, black and plain; but still the gentleman.’ His sophisticated, lovely sister Mary is brown, with a lively black eye. By not accepting the fact that Mr. Crawford and Mr. Elton are Blacks, we totally miss the true depth of Emma’s folly when she tries to marry Elton off to her friend Harriet Smith who is a blue-eyed blond. Or when Emma, as a Black woman, so deprecatingly and foolishly compares the white gentleman farmer who loves Miss Smith to the Black, Mr. Elton. Then we truly understand why the immensely wise Mr. Knightly is so upset with Emma, and why broad faced Mr. Elton was so offended by Emma’s wish. And why he, and the vigorous and malicious wife he eventually married, went out of their way to insult poor, white Miss Smith. Who eventually marries the more suitable white gentleman farmer. Yet all these persons symbolise historical events, emerging social groups and institutions under siege. And suddenly Emma as a novel does not resist analyses, as is usually claimed.

    Jane Austen is actually talking about the emerging, Regency Era race relations and about race-mixing, which she was against, derived from her letters. Broad faced Mrs Blount with ‘her pink husband & fat neck,’ from her letter to Cassandra, should be understood in this context. As should Mrs. Price in Mansfield Park who deeply offended her family, by probably marrying a white Mr. Price who had ‘no education, no means and no prospects.’ Making Fanny Price, like Miss Lamb from Sanditon, a mulatto. A sensitive fact pounced on by her cruel aunt, Mrs. Norris. In Sense and Sensibility ‘Golden Mohrs’ are mentioned, pointing to the role of blackness in the founding of the European civilisation. But the novel Emma is all about 10.000 years of Black Civilisation, the history about Blacks who brought civilisation to Europe and became a noble and royal elite at the end of the Medieval period. So Austen’s deeper reasons only emerge after a colour-conceptual reading of Emma; that by elevating whites to their high level of civilisation, and to actually dilute their pure blood with whites; European Blacks have lost their power and were even losing more power if they did not change their ways. If they do, they could still prevent to be at the total mercy of whites. This would be the total annihilation of Blacks. People who are able to understand this have, according to Henry Austen: ‘true abilities.’ Austen satirises the then current Hanoverian, German-British royal family with the sickly George III’s fear of his daughters marrying and his hysterical hatred of new ideas and social change, represented as catching dangerous ‘colds.’ In this way Austen’s cautions Blacks not to be afraid of change. The novel ends on a shaky new constellation with Emma dethroned by Mrs. Elton.

    Emma herself is probably named after the then popular adviser and paramour of Horatio Nelson: Emma Hamilton, a nut-brown beauty. And presents an amalgam of the ‘lovely and elegant’ Queen Mary of Scots as well as her niece, the Virgin Queen Elizabeth I. Emma’s preference for Miss Smith’s blond looks reminds us of King James I Stuart too, who had an equal weakness for young, blond men. So I also agree with a ‘queer reading’ of Jane Austen, based on her many, mischievous but empowering reverences to gayness. James was Queen Mary’s son and the grandfather of Charles II Stuart who was called The Black Boy. These were all native Black, British and Scottish royals and Jane Austen was very aware of these rapidly disappearing historical facts due to revisionism. The beheading of her niece’s husband, the Comte the Feuillides during the French Revolution (1789-1795) gave the horrified Austen’s their personal experience with the revolutionary hatred against the Black nobility. That is why she took to writing these allegorical novels. Jane Austen was an activist to the cause of European Blacks based on her knowledge of Black History and her own experiences as a native Black Britton.

    By following this reconstruction of the past we can now easily understand that her famous line about a preference for ‘four or five families in a country town to work with’ only refers to the four or five gentle Black families, who socialise, help each other to advance economically and intermarry. We can also see that she includes all types of Blacks in her group, the fair ones she describes as sallow and the black ones. But the fair ones seem to flock towards the truly black skinned ones, if we notice in Northanger Abbey the preference of the sallow Catherine Morland to Mr. Tilney who was brown, and of the fair Bertram siblings of Mansfield Park towards the very dark Crawfords. Austen proposes blackness as an expression of health and beauty. Churchill teased Jane Fairfax for her pale skin, but afterwards he concludes that she had ‘just enough colour for beauty’ and had a ‘distinguished’ complexion. Her Classical African features made her looks ‘peculiar’ in Austen’s parlance. And unlike what we were told; part of the elite enjoyed ‘heightening the native brown of my Complexion’ with a tan, as her niece, Eliza Comtesse de Feuillide proudly describes her own looks. Yet another part bleached and painted their faces white, which practices Austen deplored in Persuasion and her letters. Eliza Bennet’s unspoken but inferred advantage over her rival, Miss Caroline Bingley; is her brown and tanned complexion, which is much admired by the rich Mr. Darcy. Yet to some in The Watsons, Emma Watson’s very brown complexion was ‘the annihilation of every grace.’ Racism?

    With the Black History approach and giving due attention to the abundance of blackness in Austen’s life and her novels; we can now evaluate the rich subtext and understand Jane Austen’s dedication to the plight of her Black nation. And why the early dead of ‘the purple flowerette of the vale’ was so sincerely bemoaned by her clan. As they were fiercely protective of her image. Her books are in fact comical, self-help books, allegories that present an idealised black gentry, in order to empower and urge improvement of Blacks. To better themselves at a personal level. But also reminding them as a group of their history and to warn about the changing times. And that they should start paying attention, stop the foolish race mixing and assisting whites to advance and encroach upon their own positions; for they will face total annihilation as a culture and a people. They will be completely rewritten and whitewashed out of history.

    Her visionary fears for her Blacks are proven real today if we view the eurocentric reading of Jane Austen, after 235 years, by the total exclusion of Blacks we have already descended to.

    Egmond Codfried
    Paramaribo-Suriname, 17 December 2010

  6. I found this really interesting and would like to consider reproducing a version of it for a Palgrave Macmillan anthology on GLOBAL JANE AUSTEN. Please let me know how I can contact the authir

    1. [quote]Laurence Raw says
      I found this really interesting and would like to consider reproducing a version of it for a Palgrave Macmillan anthology on GLOBAL JANE AUSTEN. Please let me know how I can contact the authir[/quote]

      Did anything come out of this plan? Cannot find anything in google.
      Can the gentleman please inform me?

      Bluebloodisblackblood@hotmail.com

  7. [img]http://www.hampsteadheath.net/files/dido_02.jpg[/img]

    [url]http://www.hampsteadheath.net/dido-elizabeth-belle.html[/url]

    [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_Price[/url]

    [url]http://www.lipstickalley.com/f328/fanny-price-423504/[/url]

    I have, just the other week, discovered that Fanny Price from ‘Mansfield Park ‘(1814) by Jane Austen (1775-1817) was partly based on the life of Dido Elisabeth Langsay, a mulatto woman. She was a niece of Lord Mansfield.
    But with Austen the ‘lower ranks’ are the whites. Fanny’s mother, one of the Ward sisters married a white man and was cut off by the family.

    Mr. Crawford: ‘absolutely plain, black and plain: but still the genmtleman,’ is a black complexioned man and his lovely sister Mary is ‘very brown with a lively dark eye. I propose a new reading of Jane Austen to end white supremacy, and find the roots of racism. Jane Austen was Black and wrote about Blacks.

  8. Dear sir
    A revelation indeed
    However I don’t understand why if blacs were the dominant nobility it was considered advantageous in anyway to bleach the skin?

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