Dear Mr Bigelow
Frances Woodsford

Dear Mr Bigelow

"Dear Mr Bigelow" is a selection of weekly letters and sketches by Frances Woodsford, written to an American, Paul Bigelow, whom she never met, as a kind gesture to a lonely, deaf widower, whose daughter, Rosalind, had been very generous to her. A cross between 84 Charing Cross Road and Nella Last’s Peace, they cover the period 1949 to 1961 and give an evocative picture of immediate post-war Britain. Woodsford writes openly of her struggles with hardship, family eccentricities, difficult colleagues, Dorset landscapes, national events, books, films, shows and international tensions touching on the deaths of George V1 and Queen Mary, the Coronation, the Townsend Affair, the flooding of Lynmouth, the Boat Race and Suez Crisis.

Book Details:

  • Author: Frances Woodsford
  • Published Year: 2009
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Chatto & Windus

Frances Woodsford

Frances Woodsford was born in 1913, daughter of a dress designer. Early childhood, in Egham, was affluent but her father died prematurely, and, without him, his business failed. She left school, acquired shorthand and typing skills and kept a roof over her widowed mother's head, working first in a solicitor's office in Half Moon Street. When her brother contracted rheumatic fever the family moved to Bournemouth for his health. It was the Depression and jobs were hard to find so Frances typed for the Royal Blue Coach Company and then for 8 years worked at Westover Garage, again as a typist. ...
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Book Reviews

  • "a vividly observed picture of suburban life in a Britain of more than 60 years ago...Frances Woodsford’s letters were presumed destroyed as had been those of the Commodore. That they survived is astonishing. They are a treat to be savoured."
    Peter Burton, Daily Express