84, Charing Cross Road

84, Charing Cross Road

Book - 1990
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Penguin Putnam
This charming classic love story, first published in 1970, brings together twenty years of correspondence between Helene Hanff, at the time, a freelance writer living in New York City, and a used-book dealer in London at 84, Charing Cross Road. Through the years, though never meeting and separated both geographically and culturally, they share a winsome, sentimental friendship based on their common love for books. Their relationship, captured so acutely in these letters, is one that has touched the hearts of thousands of readers around the world.

"84, Charing Cross Road will beguile and put you in tune with mankind... It will provide an emollient for the spirit and sheath for the exposed nerve." -- The New York Times

"A unique, throat-lumping, side-splitting treasure." -- San Francisco Examiner

Baker & Taylor
Correspondence between Helene Hanff, a freelance writer living in New York, and a used-book dealer in London

Publisher: New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Penguin Books, 1990
Edition: De luxe gift edition
ISBN: 9780140143508
Branch Call Number: 818 HANFF
Characteristics: 97 pages ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Doel, Frank
Marks & Co
Alternative Title: Eight-four, Charing Cross Road
Notes: Reprint. Originally published: New York : Grossman, 1975
Correspondence between Helene Hanff and agents of Marks & Co., chiefly Frank Doel


From the critics

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Sep 28, 2019

In 1949, American writer Helene Hanff begins a 20-year long jovial correspondence with the staff of a small antiquarian bookshop in England. This tiny 84-page book consists entire of the full text of each letter shared between the writer and the bookshop. Over the years, this book was turned into a TV play, a stage play, and a 1987 movie staring Anthony Hopkins and Judi Dench. Given this level of fame, I was expecting some romance or perhaps some drama? Not so much. But it does capture a bit of British post-war culture in a very unique way. Reading this book made me think about how much of the human element we lost when we found Amazon.

Apr 18, 2019


Mar 12, 2019

I'm glad I first read some other comments before writing this, as I realized I was about to use some of the same phrases to describe how much I liked this book. It was delightful. I enjoy the genre of books about books and reading, and I enjoy letter-writing, and this little epistle combines these. Letters spanning 20 years reveal the development of relationships and also provide a peek at the history. Writing that leads the reader to laughing out loud and also to crying is a gift indeed.

Nov 28, 2018

This was a lovely little book of letters between a feisty New York writer who loved British Literature and a quiet London bookseller over a period of around 20 years. It is a very short read, but can be life changing. It will make you want to learn more about British Literature, and go to London to browse around one of the old bookshops on Charing Cross Road.

Sep 01, 2018

What a lovely book this is - and as others have said - a balm for the soul. I feel that the writer (Helen) was reaching out to the people in this bookshop and hoping that they would answer her need for connection - and obviously they felt the same. The book gives you a glimpse into the post-WW2 era and the needs of people to heal with an added bonus: literature mentioned in tantalizing descriptions. I must explore.

Jun 24, 2018

This book is about self-education, in Hanff's case she found Q's list of books she should read, and Doel found the books for her. This book is also about friendship, bookselling, and writing. The funny thing is that the publisher published her address almost on every other page, so that when the book first came out, many people wrote to her. What a spirit. What a friendship. What a gem. Read the sequel - The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street.

Sep 27, 2017

A lovely little book. A collection of letters between New York writer Helene Hanff and a London bookseller in the 1950s and 60s. The New York Times says "It will provide an emollient for the spirit and a sheath for the exposed nerve." This is exactly what it did for me today.

LPL_MeredithW Apr 11, 2017

A small, perfect collection of letters exchanged by a book-buyer and bookseller over the course of more than two decades. An instant new favorite!

Jul 15, 2016

Quick read. Book of letters sent back and forth between a writer in New York to a bookshop in London spanning 20+ years after WWII. Enjoyed the sarcasm, the love of books, and the friendship that developed over the years through the letters that were shared.

Nov 13, 2015

This wonderful, concise volume unfolds a universe of human connection and love of books encompassed in a series of letters exchanged between a New York writer and a small bookshop in London. The letters were written between 1949 and 1969, and manage to compactly convey depths of longing, regret, love, and friendship.

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Jun 24, 2018

"WHAT KIND OF A PEPYS" DIARY DO YOU CALL THIS? this is not Pepys' diary, this is some busybody editor's miserable collection of EXCERPTS from Pepys' diary may he rot. i could just spit. where is jan. 12, 1668, where his wife chased him out of bed and round the bedroom, with a red-hot poker? where is sir w. pen's son that was giving everybody so much trouble with his Quaker notions? ONE mention does he get in this whole pseudo-book, and me from Philadelphia. I enclose two limp singles, I will make do with this thing till you find me a real Pepys. Then i will rip up this ersatz book, page by page, AND WRAP THINGS IN IT. -Oct. 15, 1951


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