When Jane twelwe and a half and her sister Cassandra fifteen went with their parents on a visit to Reading in 1788,they met their cousin'Phylly'Walter,then aged twentyfive.
In a letter to her brother she had some critical remarks about Jane.
She admired Cassandra because, as she admitted, "she has a striking resemblance with myself,and I can't help thinking her very pritty. The youngest (Jane) is very like her brother Henry, not at all pretty & very prim, unlike a girl of twelve: but it is hasty judgement which you will scold me for." But she also adds "Jane is whimsical and affected"
And that seems to contradict the first judgement somewhat.
Maybe she appeared 'prim', I think that was just shyness.And whimsical? What girl isn't whimsical at that age? Cassandra was more assured. Two years difference can make a lot at that age.
But Phylly's comment about her likeness to her brother Henry is interesting, because that's what her father said already when she was newborn. When you look at the only portraits that exist of them, you can't find any likeness at all. But the portrait of Henry is made more than 30 years later when he was in his fifties,so there may have been a likeness when they were young.
But what i find surprising is that no one seems to have noticed the resemblance with her father. Look at the portraits. It's the same face, the same eyes, nose, and mouth.
The problem is that you can't trust these portraits. In some cases there may be a likeness with the person depicted,in others not. But you don't know when.
It has been said that Henry was her favourite brother.
I think that may be true. Henry was also diffent from the rest of the brothers. He was a restless soul. Jumped from one profession to another. It's often said that Jane was a calm and amiable person when grown up. I suspect that was only on the surface. Underneath she had the same restless soul as her brother Henry. But she was a woman, and she had to suppress her feelings. The outlet for them was her writings.
Had she lived longer we might have seen a gradual change. A Jane more comfortable in public life, coming with her success.