My Quick Summary of this Charming Movie:
A trans-Atlantic love affair: of two people; of their love for books; a film that takes place in NYC and in London; of the passion for reading great books and invaluable friendships: heaven wrapped up neatly, in a nice little bow-tie-of-a-movie for any bibliophile – or frankly, anyone who dares to care about love.
How I Discovered 84 Charing Cross Road:
I recently learned that a dear, dear friend of mine named Darius Grant, fancies a Scottish author (himself being Scottish as well) by the name of Muriel Spark (1918 – 2006). While I have not read any of Spark’s work (though she is at the top of the list now!), I did recently notice that Everyman’s Library does have a book of her novellas. Awesome – you can see where this is going…!
Anyway, Darius had mentioned in passing, in a text, about Spark’s “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” and how wonderful it was – and so, I made a mental note to secretly see if the Everyman’s Library book of Ms. Sparks included this novella in it – and sure enough, it did, presto! (I’m telling ya, Everyman’s never lets me down!) So, I looked for it in a few shops for a week or so (for a new version), and when finally, to no avail, I quickly ordered it from Barnes and Noble.
A few days ago, it showed up. I took it out of the shipping box. I re-wrapped it. And then I met Darius deep under The Plaza Hotel in NYC for a coffee and some steak tartar – and handed him, excitedly, the present. He unwrapped it – and presto, a beautiful, red, cloth-bound Everyman’s Library book of Spark novellas, with “The Prime of Miss Brodie” the first of four novellas listed in red in the Table of Contents.
And he loved it.
After talking about the novella, then Google-ing for some quotes from "The Prime of Miss Brodie" and Darius reading them aloud - theatrically and proud! - not afraid for those quite near us to hear, he then proceeded to say in his own Scottish accent, in a peppy, by-the-way manner, “Have you ever seen 84 Charing Cross Road?”
No I have not.
And the rest is history – based on his glowing recommendation - and our happenstance departure tomorrow night for London (and then his very-own Scotland!), I just watched it and absolutely loved it.
Thank you Darius for bringing this to my attention and showing me the light! 84 Charing Cross Road, here we come!
My Everyman’s Library collection – the gift of perpetual discoveries.
October 22, 2018
In 1949, Helene Hanff is in search of obscure classics and British literature titles that she has been unable to find in New York City. She notices an ad in the Saturday Review of Literature placed by antiquarian booksellers Marks & Co, located at the titular address in London. She contacts the shop, where chief buyer and manager Frank Doel fulfills her requests. A long-distance friendship develops over time between the two and between Hanff and other staff members, as well, including birthday gifts, holiday packages and food parcels to compensate for post–World War II food shortages in Britain. Their correspondence includes discussions about topics as diverse as the sermons of John Donne, how to make Yorkshire pudding, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the coronation of Elizabeth II.
-- Credit: Wikipedia: 84 Charing Cross Road (film).
Copyright © 2019 My Everyman's Library Collection - All Rights Reserved.