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  • Location: London

84 Charing Cross Road

Why a Booktrail?

1940s The ultimate love story via letters across the ocean…..

  • ISBN: 978-0751503845
  • Genre: Autobiography/memoirs

What you need to know before your trail

The ultimate love story about a couple who post letters to each other  – one in America, the other at a bookshop in Charing Cross Road, London.

….a letter inquiring about second-hand books, written by Helene Hanff in New York, and posted to a bookshop at 84, Charing Cross Road in London.

She receives a reply from the rather serious and matter of fact Frank Doel. Whilst her letters are charming and witty, his less so, but soon the letter writing develops into something a lot more special indeed.

Travel Guide

After reading this line in the book – “If you happen to pass by 84 Charing Cross Road, kiss it for me? I owe it so much.” you know you just have to go there. This great love affair is a true story and when you stand in front of what used to be the bookshop, you can’t help feeling that you are sharing part of their story with them and in some way they’ll know and be smiling wherever they are now together.

Be sure to give Helen and Frank a subtle wave as you stand outside the golden plaque which serves as evidence of the literary magic that took place here.

Hanff, in search books she had been unable to find in New York noticed an ad in a newspaper and first contacted the shop in 1949. Doel was the one who answered her questions and sent her books. Over time a lovely friendship developed. Packages, birthday gifts, and food parcels as well as friendship crossed oceans.

Hanff sadly visited England too late as Frank had sadly died. However the empty but still standing shop in the summer of 1971 is recorded in her 1973 book The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street.

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