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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Yaffe

Austen animals

Over the weekend, my daily Google alert called my attention to artist Carmen Medlin’s rendition of Elinor Dashwood. . . as a mouse.

I find the drawing rather sweet, but more to the point it got me wondering about animal-world equivalents of our favorite Austen characters.

Suggestions, anyone? I’m thinking Wickham as a fox, Henry Crawford as a snake (Garden of Eden reference very much intended) and Lady Bertram as a three-toed sloth. Mr. Elton as a weasel? Sir Walter Elliot as one of those chest-beating gorillas? Mrs. Jennings as a motherly but somewhat dim manatee?

All of a sudden I’m looking forward to the animated Disney version of Pride and Prejudice! (It can’t be worse than the zombie flick.) Somehow, though, this Austen-animal game seems much easier to play with the caricature-like secondary characters than with the heroes and heroines, whose personalities are more nuanced.

Although if anyone’s a mouse, it’s surely Fanny Price.


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