If you’re a Jane Austen obsessive like me or just a fan of her books, you may want to check out this new cookbook that will be hitting shelves on Thursday, July 22. Although, calling this cookbook new isn’t exactly true. It was written when Jane Austen was still alive in 1806 and was written over the course of 30 years.
And it wasn’t written by Austen either. It was written by her best friend, Martha Lloyd. Austen referred to her as a “second sister,” so clearly she would know more about Jane and her tastes than most other people outside of her family.
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Martha first befriended Jane in1789 when they were both quite young, but it wasn’t until 1806, after the death of both their fathers, that Jane, Martha, Jane’s sister Cassandra, and her mother moved into Chawton Cottage together in Hampshire. It was there that Jane wrote all six of her most famous novels.
While Jane was writing her books, Martha was putting together a book of recipes. The recipes included the Austen family’s favorites. They were pulled from already published cookbooks and recipes from friends. This collection of recipes was never published until now!
Jane Austen’s best friend’s cookbook will be out on July 22
A reproduction of Martha Lloyd’s Household Book will now be available in full color. The original is on display at the Austen Museum in Chawton, but now we can all have a copy of our very own. And it’s not just recipes. It also includes home remedies as well. It will be fun to test those out and see if they really work.
How did the book come to be part of the Austen museum when it’s not by Austen herself? Well, over a decade after Jane’s death, Martha married Jane’s widowed brother, Sir Francis Austen. So not only did the book become part of the Austen family, the two best friends actually became sisters in the end.
The book is currently available to preorder at Amazon for $44.90 and $45 at Barnes and Noble. It’s definitely more expensive than a copy of Pride and Prejudice, but if you’re a fan of Austen or a fan of the time period, this is definitely a book you won’t want to miss.
Will you be picking up Martha Lloyd’s Household Book? Let us know in the comments below!