Jane Austen’s Best Friend; The life and influence of Martha Lloyd
All fans of Jane Austen everywhere believe themselves to be best friends with the beloved author and this book shines a light on what it meant to be exactly that. Jane Austen’s Best Friend; The Life and Influence of Martha Lloyd offers a unique insight into Jane’s private inner circle. Through this heart-warming examination of an important and often overlooked person in Jane’s world, we uncover the life changing force of their friendship. Each chapter details the fascinating facts and friendship forming qualities that tied Jane and Martha together. Within these pages we will relive their shared interests, the hits and misses of their romantic love lives, their passion for shopping and fashion, their family histories, their lucky breaks and their girly chats. This book offers a behind the scenes tour of the shared lives of a fascinating pair and the chance to deepen our own bonds in ‘love and friendship’ with them both.
Author Bio – ‘A native of Jane Austen’s beloved county of Hampshire, Zoe Wheddon, lives in a village on the outskirts of the touwn that she and her husband Matt grew up in, with three grown up children and a cat called Leia.
She co-presents the popular podcast What Would Jane Do and writes articles and book reviews on matters relating to friendship, self-compassion and personal development on her blog. When not researching or writing her next book, Zoe can be found in the classroom teaching Spanish and French or singing ABBA songs loudly in her kitchen.’
Social Media Links – Twitter: @ZoeWheddon
Facebook: Zoe Wheddon Author page.
This extract takes us back to the very beginnings of Jane and Martha’s friendship and the very start of Jane’s writing too. It is a symbolic moment, one where Jane and Martha began to weave both their personalities and their preferences, their talents, and their time into their friendship. Just as Jane’s early writings were overlooked and undervalued for so long, so it has been for her friendship with Martha. And yet, in these beginnings we find the promise of so much that was to come for both of them. It is so special for us as modern-day readers to be able to take this nostalgic view with the hindsight that we all have some 200 years later.
These early entries in the literary career of Jane Austen are widely regarded in their own right as more than just childish scribblings and ways of dawdling away time. They are increasingly considered by scholars as important ‘literary and historical documents’ – ‘records of a youthful writer’s response to her times’ and Martha was there to witness them, a huge part of the ‘teenage’ Jane’s life at the time of this early developmental stage of the young authoress. She was part of the small group who listened to and enjoyed the ‘effusions of fancy’ as Jane’s father famously called them, and was present as Jane ironed out the wrinkles in her words and tried on various ideas and styles for size. Martha was a key element of providing Jane with what became nostalgically known within the family as ‘a sufficiently settled and sympathetic’ environment in which to evolve. As one of Jane Austen’s closest and most frequent companions in this period, she had an influence on creating the atmosphere so conducive to experimentation and practice in which a very young Jane thrived.
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