More about me (gosh these posts are easy to write!). I am persistent. And resourceful. And when I get a bee in my bonnet, no, not even a bee, just a slight buzz, I am like a dog with a bone. Too many mixed animal metaphors there but you get my drift. Just at the end of last year I declared that I wouldn't be wearing a mob cap in 2008 (well, fair enough) but I am still curious about this country girl who is.
I couldn't find any further reference on the internet to the painting - a family portrait by Francis Wheatley - on the cover of the Penguin Classic edition of Amelia. Never one to be deterred I consulted the Libraries Australia website which lets you search all of the library catalogues in Australia (university libraries, local libraries, state libraries) and found the aptly titled Francis Wheatley by Mary Webster published back in 1970. It turns out that the painting in question is one of four:
Here called 'The Happy Fireside - Married Life' instead of 'Life of a Country Girl - Married Life'. And who may the Viscount Bearsted be? Some bloke who lives in Maidstone, Kent. I wonder if he accepts visitors - what I want now is to have a look at them.