Dear Mr Bigelow

Dear Mr Bigelow

A Transatlantic Friendship

Book - 2009
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Dear Mr Bungalow is an enchanting selection of weekly "pen-pal" letters written between 1949 and 1961 from an unmarried woman working at the Pier Approach Baths in Bourne mouth, to a wealthy American widower, living on Long Island, New York. Frances Woods ford and Commodore Paul Bridgetown never met, and there was no romance--she was in her forties when he died aged ninety-seven--yet their epistolary friendship was her lifeline. The "Saturday Specials" as Frances dubbed them, are brilliantly-packed missives, sparked with comic genius, from post-war England. We follow her travails at the Baths (and her ghastly boss Mr. Bond); the hilarious weekly Civil Defense classes as the Cold War advances; her attempts to shake off Dr. Russell, an unwanted suitor; life at home with Mother, and Mac, her charming ne'er-do-well brother; and, escapades in their jointly-owned car, a 1934 Ford 8 called Hesperus. Most importantly, we get to know Frances--and her deep affection for Mr. Bigelow. She started to write to him as a way of thanking his daughter for the clothes and food parcels she sent. But what had begun as a good turn offered Frances the chance to escape a trying job, and to expound with elegance, wit, and verve on topical subjects from home and abroad, bringing us a beady commentary on her life and times that leaps vividly from the page. Her letters to Mr. Bigelow during his final illness are a tender and moving farewell, a touching conclusion to a unique record.
Publisher: London : Chatto & Windus, 2009.
ISBN: 9780701184803
Branch Call Number: 941.085092 W898w
Characteristics: xiii, 382 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Alternative Title: Dear Mister Bigelow


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