My portrait of Elizabeth Bennet, the heroine from Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice.
I got the idea after skimming the novel’s first few chapters and noticing that, even though her dialogue is very wordy, Austen doesn’t actually describe her characters or their setting in specific depth. That’s not really my favorite writing style, but it does give your illustrator’s imagination some extra leeway than more detailed descriptions would. You can almost imagine them any way you want.
And yes, there were a few African people who had been brought over to Britain during the Regency era when Austen lived. The Middle Passage had not been outlawed just yet at that time. So who knows, maybe a black Elizabeth Bennet wouldn’t be out of the question in that setting.