Monday, January 27, 2014

A Kidney, and Jane Austen

The paisley I posted yesterday was based on a kidney (right). We humans have two, you know.

The fetching little cap on top of the kidney is an adrenal gland---it secretes cortisol and other hormones in response to stress.

It's possible that Jane Austen suffered or even died from malfunctioning adrenal glands (Addison's disease).

This is disputed and not ultimately knowable.
As Austen wrote, "Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that 
something is not a little disguised, or a little mistaken."

Starting in 2016, Jane Austen will appear on Britain's 10-pound notes (left).

Not everyone is pleased with the sweet, gentle ("dimwitted"?) way she is depicted, according to the Guardian

I agree she could look a little fiercer, to match Virigina Woolf's comment
"Sometimes it seems as if her creatures were born merely to give Jane Austen the supreme delight of slicing  their heads off";
at least it's not a picture of Keira Knightley.

1 comment:

Zhoen said...

I've read about the possible Addison's, and it is consistent with, as they say. I suspect she did look sweet, and saved her knives for the writing.

Sweet Jane. As Lou Reed says.