Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Twitter Ye Not - Pride and Prejudice

Twitter Ye Not - Pride and Prejudice

A regular piece for the Daily Mail Weekend magazine about how figures in history might have twittered or tweeted or whatever, had they the chance, inclination and technology.

On the 28th January 1813, Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice was published in London. Almost 200 years later, it is still one of the most celebrated books in the English language. Here we imagine the reaction on Twitter to that first edition and its then anonymous author.

I have shown on the one side fat George the Prince Regent (later King George IV), based on caricatures at the time by Mssrs Gilray and Cruikshank. George ruled as Regent for ten years whilst his father, King George III, was incapacitated by madness. Georgy Porgy clutches a copy of the newly published novel, and thinks he resembles Mr Darcy (especially as portrayed by a wet Colin Firth).

Across from him is poet George, Lord Byron (mad, bad and dangerous to know), leaning nonchalently against a classical pedestal, and also imagining himself as Darcy. I have indicated Byron's club foot, which he was very sensitive about.

Behind the Prince Regent is a weeping willow, very popular at the time as a motif in furniture, art and ceramics. Between the two noblemen is the Royal Pavillion at Brighton. Very exotic!

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