Today I’m pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for Jane Austen’s Best Friend: The Life And Influence Of Martha Lloyd. My review is written with thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on the tour and to the publisher for my copy of the book.
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.
I have enjoyed reading Jane Austen’s novels but I know very little about her life. Wheddon chooses to write about her life from the perspective of her friend, which I felt was an interesting way to find out information I’d never learnt before and look with fresh eyes on the details that are commonly known.
Zoe Wheddon is clearly passionate about this subject and she has researched it in immaculate detail. She writes well and her observations are interesting. It was easy for me to see from the research she included how Austen’s friendship with Martha had made its way on to the pages of her books. At times, I did feel that some of the information she included was slightly overwhelming for the general reader, but the majority of Jane Austen’s Best Friend: The Life And Influence Of Martha Lloyd is fairly accessible.
Throughout this book, Wheddon asks the question of what it means to be or to have a best friend. I loved these sections as it is clear that these qualities have not changed over time and Jane’s relationship with Martha shares some of the qualities of my own friendships. This highlighted to me how timeless Austen’s work is and has encouraged me to reread it in a new light.
Jane Austen’s Best Friend:The Life And Influence Of Martha Lloyd is available from Amazon.
You can follow the rest of the blog tour here: