"People may say I can't sing. But no one can ever say I didn't sing."
Despite having no pitch, no rhythm and no tone, Florence Foster Jenkins became one of America's best-known sopranos, giving a sell-out concert at Carnegie Hall. Florence Foster adored music and as a girl was a talented pianist, but her wealthy father refused to allow her to study in Europe. In retaliation she eloped with Dr Frank Jenkins but the marriage soon foundered, not least because the eighteen-year-old bride contracted syphilis on their wedding night. After her father's death, she inherited a considerable sum and it was then that she vowed to become a great soprano. Over forty years later, after a lifetime supporting New York's classical musical societies - and even founding her own - Florence's greatest dream was finally realised.
Her extraordinary story is now a film, starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, and directed by Stephen Frears.
About the Authors
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 has been a journalist since 1988. He has written over the years for most broadsheets, but principally the Daily Telegraph, Independent, Evening Standard and The Times Saturday Magazine. He has also written for Vogue, Harper's, Radio Times and GQ. He is the author of two books, Bred of Heaven: One Man's Quest to Reclaim his Welsh Roots and I Found My Horn: One Man's Struggle With The Orchestra's Most Difficult Instrument. He lives in London.