Dear Living and Giving Readers,
Could you make your life a little light today? Find someone to help.
You can shine a little light in their lives. See how M. Bentham-Edwards encourages us to make our lives a light, a flower, a song, a staff.
You can do this today!
Light Someone’s Life Up Today,
“God make my life a little light, Within the world to glow; A tiny flame that burneth bright
Wherever I may go.
God make my life a little flower,
That giveth joy to all,
Content to bloom in native bower,
Although its place be small.
God make my life a little song,
That comforteth the sad;
That helpeth others to be strong,
And makes the singer glad.
God make my life a little staff,
Whereon the weak may rest,
That so what health and strength I have
May serve my neighbors best.”
Betham-Edwards was the fourth daughter of a farmer, Edward Edwards (c.1808–1864) and his wife Barbara (1806–1848), daughter of William Betham (1749–1839), an antiquary and cleric. She was educated in Ipswich country and as a governess-pupil at a school in London.
Her first novel, The White House by the Sea (1857) was an immediate success. Matilda studied French and German abroad and then settled with her sister in Suffolk to manage the farm which had belonged to her father. Not content with purely rural occupations, she contributed from time to time to Household Words, having the advantage at this time of the friendship of Charles Dickens and an early association with Charles and Mary Lamb, friends of her mother. Betham-Edwards is often cited in anthologies of lesbian poetry, but there is no strong evidence that she had lesbian tendencies. She died in Hastings, Sussex in 1919.
Fig. ₁: Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash