Dear Mr Bigelow: A Transatlantic Friendship

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9780099542292: Dear Mr Bigelow: A Transatlantic Friendship

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.

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About the Author:

Frances Woodsford was born in 1913. She was exceptionally bright at school but her father's death in 1926 interrupted the prospects of an academic career. She left school to work as a secretary, to help provide for the family during the Depression. After taking an administrative job at a local garage, she taught herself engineering and ran practical workshops during the Second World War. When the war ended she took a position as secretary in the Public Baths Department of Bournemouth Town Council, where she worked for the duration of her correspondence with Mr. Bigelow. Frances had 80 or more correspondents, but Mr Bigelow was particularly special and received over seven hundred letters from Frances during the twelve years that they wrote to one another, until his death in 1961. She continued to work for the Council until her retirement in 1974; her final position was as archivist. Extraordinarily, in 2006, Frances's letters to Mr Bigelow came to light and were returned to her. They are the testimony of an ordinary life but their vigorous prose suggests that with other opportunities, Frances could have been a professional writer.

Review:

"Many pleasing and interesting small touches" -- David Kynaston Literary Review "Packed with comic moments and social history, the letters are a beady commentary on her life and times" -- Fanny Blake Woman & Home "A treat to be savoured" -- Peter Burton Daily Express "This delightful collection of letters...a sequence of bright, witty and charming letters" Mail on Sunday "Provide[s] an insight into post-war Britain" Telegraph

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099542292

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099542292

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. A collection of weekly letters written between 1949 and 1961 from an unmarried woman, Frances Woodsford working at the Public Baths in Bournemouth, to a wealthy American widower, Paul Bigelow in New York. It follows Frances' trials with her ghastly boss Mr Bond; and the hilarious weekly Civil Defence Classes as the Cold War advances. Num Pages: 400 pages, Illustrations. BIC Classification: 3JJPG; BJ; HBTB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 133 x 26. Weight in Grams: 378. . 2010. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099542292

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Book Description Vintage, 2010. Book Condition: New. A collection of weekly letters written between 1949 and 1961 from an unmarried woman, Frances Woodsford working at the Public Baths in Bournemouth, to a wealthy American widower, Paul Bigelow in New York. It follows Frances' trials with her ghastly boss Mr Bond; and the hilarious weekly Civil Defence Classes as the Cold War advances. Num Pages: 400 pages, Illustrations. BIC Classification: 3JJPG; BJ; HBTB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 133 x 26. Weight in Grams: 378. . 2010. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099542292

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Book Description Vintage Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Dear Mr Bigelow: A Transatlantic Friendship, Frances Woodsford, 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. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099542292

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Book Description Vintage, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 400 pages. 7.80x5.08x1.14 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # __0099542293

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