Jane Austen, though a much beloved author, is apparently not hot enough to sell books. According to an article posted on the Guardian‘s website, Wordsworth editions is Photoshopping a more appealing portrait of her for a new edition of a memoir by Austen’s nephew.
Helen Trayler, the publisher’s managing director, said: “She was not much of a looker. Very, very plain. Jane Austen wasn’t very good looking. She’s the most inspiring, readable author, but to put her on the cover wouldn’t be very inspiring at all. It’s just a bit off-putting.
“I know you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover. Sadly people do. If you look more attractive, you just stand out more. Sadly, we do live in a very shallow world and people do judge by appearance.”
Publishers have traditionally used a portrait of Austen by her sister Cassandra, which hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. This portrait has been now been digitally adjusted to remove her nightcap, [and to] give her make-up and hair extensions.
What, no bling?