84, Charing Cross Road

3.17
This charming classic, first published in 1970, brings together twenty years of correspondence between Helene Hanff, a freelance writer living in New York ity, and a used-book dealer in London. Through the decades, though never meeting and separated both geographically and culturally, they share a winsome, sentimental friendship based on their common love for books. Their elationship, captured so acutely in these letters, is one that will grab your heart and not let go.
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Original Series
Year of the Publication
Publication Date
Published October 1st 1990 by Penguin Books (first published 1970
Original Title of the Book
84, Charing Cross Road
Number of Pages
97

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gave it

Strangers connecting over their mutual love of books.

gave it

Responding to an advertisement in a newspape, she wrote to Marks& Co., and began her two decades-long epistolary relationship with Doel.Her chatty, witty and often teasing letters requesting books and Frank ’ s more conservative, straightlaced missives form the backbone of the work.

As their long-distance, customer-bookseller relationship evolves, Hanff occasionally writes to other store employees, as well as Doel ’ s stepfather, the couple ’ s aughters and the family ’ s elderly neighbour.

The essay also touches on their differing cultures, Hanff ’ s writing characterized by frank forthrightness, Doel ’ s, although no less friendly, by a certain civility and politeness.Their correspondence isn ’ t just about books, although there are some fu, illuminating passages about Chaucer, Samuel Pepys, Jane Austen, John Donne and Laurence Sterne.

gave it

The lost art of letter writing, but amazing how much we can tell of the relationships between the author in New York and a bookstore in London.

gave it

Helene Hanff is an American writer desperate to fill her reading dreams with editions of books she has trouble finding in the US.

Letters and conversation about books- the beauty of them, the written ords, the jokes- this is a book lover 's dream.

gave it

The epistolary meanderings of Helene Hanff and Frank Dole are insightful, playful in their coyness, and progressive in their development.

There is definitely life in these letters.

gave it

A proclaimed Anglophile who wrote to employees of the Marks and Company Book Shop in London over a twenty year period, Hanff published her letters in book form as a gift to future readers and letter writers.Helene Hanff is enamored by out of print, hard to find British literature.

By chance, Hanff 's upstairs neighbors are British, and they give her the name of Marks and Co. Starting in 1949, Hanff begins writing to Marks' employees requesting new or slightly used second hand copies of all things British, everything from Chaucer to Austen and all rare books in between.

What started as an enquiry becomes a twenty year correspondence with employees at the shop.The main pen pal Hanff wrote to was an employee named Frank Doel.

Even though she was willing to visit London, Hanff 's sincere writing left me with a smile as I envisioned her thrill of opening the letters and packages that emerged from a simple correspondence.

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