Facial recognition software solves Elizabeth Gaskell mystery


Makes list of everyone in history he wants to see the actual face of…

John Rylands Library Special Collections Blog

On the 150th anniversary of the death of Elizabeth Gaskell (on 12 November 1865), a mystery surrounding the true identity of a silhouette suspected to be of the Victorian novelist has finally been solved.

A team from The University of Manchester used state of the art facial measuring software and more traditional provenance research to authenticate the silhouette, which is owned by the descendants of the Gaskell family.

Following their research, medical artist Ray Evans and Stella Halkyard, the Library’s Visual Collections Manager, have concluded that, while they can never confirm the silhouette’s authenticity irrefutably, it is very likely to be of Gaskell.

Stella said: “The silhouette has an excellent ‘provenance’ and a ‘chain of unbroken custody’ which means that it has been kept by Gaskell’s descendants and we know where it has come from and where it has been throughout its history.”

She added: “At The John Rylands Library we have a miniature portrait that…

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About bibliodeviant

This is the journal of Jonathan Kearns Rare Books & Curiosities, and all who sail in her. Information, updates, rantings, musings and pretty pictures related (loosely I would imagine) to the world of rare and antiquarian books will be brought to you by a number of different personalities, some of whom cohabit in the same person's head. We welcome queries, comments and contributions of virtually any description, and in return we will attempt to rein in our multitudinous personality disorders and deliver wonders and joys beyond compare. At least that's the plan. View all posts by bibliodeviant

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