36 free quilt blocks, one a week with a guide to Jane Austen's England and posts about the people in her life.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Block: 22: Friendship for Anne Brydges LeFroy

Block: 22 Friendship for Anne Brydges LeFroy by Becky Brown

Anne Brydges LeFroy 1749-1804
A miniature by Richard Crosse with her death date 
engraved on the frame.

Madame LeFroy, as her neighbors called her, became a good friend to Jane Austen. Young mother Anne LeFroy initially invited Jane to the Ashe parsonage to play with her children but the rapport developed between Jane and the woman who was twenty-five years older. 

Ashe House. In 1783 Anne’s husband took 
over this rectory two miles from Steventon Rectory.  

Ashe is the green star

Isaac George LeFroy (1745-1806)

Anne LeFroy, a published poet, a reader, a sophisticate, acted as mentor to the young writer, offering her something her family did not throughout Jane’s adolescence and twenties.

Anne was an intellectual, a“bluestocking,” a type 
satirized (note the stocking) in the humorous 
Dr. Syntax series of the times.

During the winter of 1804-1805 Anne’s death was the first in a sad series of events. On Jane’s 29th birthday Anne fell from a run-away horse. She hit her head and died within twelve hours. Jane, living in Bath at the time, was heartbroken. A month later Jane’s father died. Two important links to her childhood were gone.

Friendship by Bettina Havig

Riding sidesaddle with both legs on one side of the horse.  
Jane Austen never cared for riding.

We might imagine Anne LeFroy bolting over the head of her horse but it is more likely she became entangled in her side saddle. In Jane Austen’s England women rode in special contraptions designed to protect their feminine anatomy. Despite the dangers in riding sideways and off balance, a woman riding astride risked her reputation. Risking one’s neck was considered the better bargain.

Woman strapped into a side saddle,
fashion plate, 1807

Jane was fortunate to have such a friend as Anne, whose obituary described her as a “lovely, accomplished, and most extraordinary woman.” We can remember Madame LeFroy with Friendship, a nine-patch given the name by Kansas City Star in 1934

BlockBase #1648
Cutting a 12” Block

A - Cut 4 squares 4-7/8”. Cut each in half with a diagonal cut to make 2 triangles.

You need 8 triangles.

B – Cut 12 rectangles 1-7/8” x 4-1/2”.

C – Cut 1 square 4-1/2”.

Friendship by Becky Brown

Read more about Anne LeFroy at the AustenOnly blog:

See my posts on last year’s Grandmother’s Choice blog about bluestockings:

And side saddle:


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