84 Charing Cross Road (buy it) is a book for book lovers. Of those old that you find in old bookstores and that you hardly even dare to touch but there is something that calls you. That dark side of the libreril force. It shows the correspondence of its author, Helene Hanff, with a small London bookstore Marks & CO located at that address. Most of the letters sent to a Frank Doel store worker.
With totally different personalities, it allows us to see through the cards and time how the relationship between them evolves.
The first letter is sent in October 1949, which places us just after the postwar period of World War II and shows us the London city with supply problems and many shortages. It is clearly seen in conversations with Frank and in all that they appreciate the gifts of food they receive.
It is not a novel, but a book of epistolary genre.
Although I usually get to the books through many recommendations, mostly from the Internet, this time it was different. I walked into the library and it was on the shelf of recommended or suggested books, perhaps featured. Seeing it caught my attention. I entered Goodreads and acquaintances of mine in which I usually agree quite a lot in tastes they had it well scored. So I took it without hesitation.
I really liked the book, especially since I hadn't looked for anything and expected absolutely nothing from it. It has been a delight to immerse myself in the search for strange books and the likes and desires of the author.
Did you know that there is a movie based on the book called «The final letter»? The movie is from 1987 and stars Anthony Hopkins.
There is even a play that is a real hit.
Time to break the romance
The image with which the article begins corresponds to the Marks & Co. bookstore located as you can imagine at 84, Charing Cross Road. Curiosity and new technologies have led me to visit with Street View of Google Maps and see how it is now, and what I have found has broken all the romanticism that old written faces had created between a reader in New York and a bookstore in London . Something that today with the abandonment of emails and the digital age I doubt will be repeated.
Today we can find a Mac Donalds. I don't know if this was really necessary for the article.
Take a good look at the two photos, and see how the tree on the door has grown
The 35 books mentioned by Helene Hanff at 84, Charing Cross Road
It is a tribute to books and literature. It fills that curiosity that we all have to see that other people read, along with the old-fashioned bookstore atmosphere, old books and incunabula. I have certainly enjoyed seeing the volumes that I ordered and that (most) I had never heard of.
I have compiled all the books that are cited in the volume of letters. I like to have it on hand, there are a few I'd like to take a look at. I hope you reader, you also find it useful.
Of those cited on the list, I am very curious about the essays by Hazlitt, Robert Louis Stevenson and Leigh Hunt, the ideal Newman university that I already have my eye on in Spanish and I'm sure I'm looking for something by John Henry.
- Hazlitt's Selected Essays
- Virginibus Puerisque and other essays by Robert Louis Stevenson
- Leigh Hunt essays
- Latin Bible (Latin Vulgate) (instead of the Bible they offer you a Latin New Testament and a Greek New Testament)
- Imaginary Conversations of Landor (Volume II of the Life and Works of Walter Savage Landor containing a dialogue between Aesop and Rhodope)
- Oxford Anthology of English Poetry
- some john henry
- Wyatt or Johnson love poetry book, no Keats or Shelley
- Newman's Dream College
- Anthology of Q (He quotes it that way although I don't know what work he refers to)
- Sam Pepys Diary
- Sir Roger de Coverley Papers
- Chesterfield and Goldsmith essays
- XNUMXth Century English Essays (Contains Hilare Belloc)
- Grolier Bible
- The Lives of Walton (Complete Angler)
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Loeb Classics of Horace, Sappho and Catullus
- Shaw's theater reviews and music reviews
- Anthology of the book lover
- Tristram Shandy (names it but I am not sure if it is an edition or a title)
- De Tocqueville's Trip to America
- Plato's Four Socratic Dialogues
- Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
- Essays by Elia de Lamb
- Shorter Oxford Dictionary
- Johnson's play on Shakespeare
- Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
- Complete Poems & Selected Prose by John Donne & Complete Poems by William Blake
- John Donne's Complete Sermons
- Correspondence between Bernard Shaw and Ellen Terry
- Memoirs of the Duc de Saint-Simon
- Virginia Woolf's Common Reader
- Diary of a Country Lady, by EM Delafield
- James Madison Stenographic Record of the Constitutional Convention, from T. Jefferson's Letters to J. Adams
He speaks disparagingly of
- Beowulf (who does not ask to read, but speaks of prejudice because of her friend)
- A house is not a home, by Polly Adler
- Bound Vocal Music Sheet Music
- Handel's Messiah
- Bach's passion according to Saint Matthew
- Listen Corelli
Are you curious about any one in particular?