A white man approaches a woman sitting on a bench in a garden, and when she turns her face to him he sees that she is black. Engraving by S. Davenport after R.W. Buss.
- Buss, Robert William, 1804-1875.
Selected images from this work
About this work
In the story, set in "Sonnington" in 1828, the elderly Antony Nesfield proposes marriage to a younger woman with her back to him, whom he supposes is Miss Arnold. In fact it is Jella, the black Jamaican maid of Miss Arnold, whereas Miss Arnold herself is white. When she reveals her face "Uncle Antony stood motionless, speechless, with dismay and disgust. He took a short and tremulous step backward, and his regular and well-ordered queue coiled itself up in very horror at the fearful apparition revealed to him. Spirit of beauty! he met the dead eyes, he gazed on the flattened nose, and the thick lips, of a negress!" (pp. 238-239)