Dido Elizabeth Belle, Race, and Representation

Unlike almost any other image from this period, this painting of Dido Belle and her cousin is one of the most interesting and complex works of art from the 18th century. Any attempt to analyse this work creates a complicated set of issues and questions relating to the politics of race and representation in art and art history: is it something that should be celebrated as a means of remembering the life and experiences of a woman who survived a society that was built to oppress her? Or must we examine the deeper representational meaning of this work, however uncomfortable that may be, in order to truly do Belle justice? A complex work demands a complex reading, especially one such as this.

Mr Darcy, Ranked

The best Mr Darcy does not immediately equal the best Pride and Prejudice, but a swoonable leading man goes a long way in the overall effectiveness of the adaptation.