12mo (176 x 101mm.), first edition, half-titles, all volumes with the ownership signatures of Jane Austen's closest female friend Martha Lloyd (dated by her 1822 in volumes 1 and 2), contemporary half calf, marbled boards, speckled blue edges, rebacked preserving original spines of volumes 2 and 3, new endpapers in volumes 2 and 3, some scattered foxing
Martha Lloyd (1765-1843), daughter of N. Lloyd and Martha Craven; thence by descent in the Austen family
"With what true sympathy our feelings are shared by Martha, you need not be told; -- she is the friend & Sister under every circumstance.."
(Jane Austen writing to her sister Cassandra, 13 October 1808)
The copy of "Emma" owned by Jane Austen's lifelong friend and confidante Martha Lloyd.
Martha was Jane Austen's dearest friend after her sister Cassandra. In 1789 Martha's widowed mother (also Martha, daughter of the Royal Governor of South Carolina, Charles Craven) and her three daughters moved into the unused parsonage at Deane, Hampshire (only a mile and a half from Jane's house at Steventon), a benefice held by Jane's father Rev. George Austen. Martha and her sister Mary soon developed a close attachment to Jane and Cassandra Austen, creating a lifelong and intimate friendship. Three years later, when Jane's brother James married and assumed the parish of Deane, the Lloyds moved 15 miles away to Hurstbourne, but the friendship lasted, with Jane dedicating her early piece of juvenilia Frederick and Elfrida to her. Following George Austen's death in Bath in 1805 the family was left in straitened financial circumstances and Jane, her mother, her sister Cassandra and Martha Lloyd decided to combine housekeeping by moving to Southampton to be with Jane's younger brother Frank and his wife Mary. In July 1809 the four women moved into Chawton, Hampshire, at the invitation of Jane's brother Edward Knight, the family remaining there after Jane's death in 1817. In 1828, at the age of 62, Martha became Frank (now Sir Francis) Austen's second wife.
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