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Mr Bigelow was the father of Frances Woodsford’s American penfriend; hearing he was old and lonely she started to write to him in 1947, the letters stopping only with his death in 1961. The letters reveal her life (dotty mother, exasperating brother, awful boss, boring job) and are a wonderful read, each letter carefully crafted, informing Mr Bigelow of events in Bournemouth with some lovely set-pieces, the saga of learning to drive and the dreadful first car and her brother’s many girlfriends. Please note that we are awaiting an extract from the publisher for this title.Like for Like Reading:84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
Dear Mr Bigelow is an enchanting collection of weekly letters written between 1949 and 1961 from an unmarried woman working at the Public Baths in Bournemouth, to a wealthy American widower in New York. Frances Woodsford and Paul Bigelow never met, yet their epistolary friendship was her lifeline. We follow Frances's trials with her ghastly boss Mr Bond; the hilarious weekly Civil Defence Classes as the Cold War advances; her attempts to shake off an unwanted suitor, and life at home with her mother and her charming ne'er-do-well brother. Sparked with comic genius, the letters provide a unique insight into post-war England and the growth of an extraordinary friendship.