Author(s): Nicholas Martin
'People may say that I couldn't sing. But no one can say that I didn't sing.' Despite lacking pitch, rhythm or tone, Florence Foster Jenkins became one of America's best-known sopranos, celebrated for her unique recordings and her sell-out concert at Carnegie Hall. Born in 1868 to wealthy Pennsylvanian parents, Florence was a talented young pianist but her life was thrown into turmoil when she eloped with Frank Jenkins, a man twice her age. The marriage proved a disaster and, in order to survive, Florence was forced to abandon her dreams of a musical career and teach the piano. Then her father died in 1909 and, newly installed in New York, she used a considerable inheritance to fund her passion. She set up a prestigious amateur music club and began staging operas. Aided by her English common-law husband, St Clair Bayfield, she worked tirelessly to support the city's musical life. Many young singers owed their start to Florence, but she too yearned to perform and began giving regular recitals that quickly attracted a cult following. And yet nothing could prepare the world for the astonishing climax of her career when, at the age of seventy-six, she performed at the most hallowed concert hall in America. In Florence Foster Jenkins, Jasper Rees tells her extraordinary story, which inspired the film starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, and directed by Stephen Frears. This remarkable book also includes Nicholas Martin's funny, moving and inspirational screenplay.
The remarkable story of America's best-known - and least-talented - soprano, Florence Foster Jenkins, tieing-in with the major feature film starring Meryl Streep
Nicholas Martin has worked as a croupier, a labourer, a bouncer and a barman. In his early twenties he worked at sea as a deck hand and later as a yacht captain. He then worked as a journalist, contributing to The Sunday Times, the Guardian and various magazines, before graduating from the National Film and Television School as a screenwriting 1992. He wrote extensively for TV before writing Florence Foster Jenkins for Pathe. He lives in London. Jasper Rees is an arts journalist and author who has contributed regularly to many British publications. His books include I Found My Horn: One Man's Struggle with the Orchestra's Most Difficult Instrument (published as A Devil to Play in the US) and Bred of Heaven: One Man's Quest to Reclaim His Welsh Roots. He lives in London.