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The Marriage Bureau: True Stories of 1940s London Match-Makers

Authors: Halson, Penrose
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
BISAC/Subject: FAM030000, SOC026010, BIO006000
ISBN: 9781443451444, Related ISBNs: 1443451444, 9781443451420, 9781443451444
Classification: Non-Fiction
Number of pages: 368,
Audience: General/trade

For fans of Call the Midwife and Downton Abbey, a charming and vivid portrait of the business of match-making in 1940s London, England

In the spring of 1939, with the Second World War looming, two determined twenty-four-year-olds, Heather Jenner and Mary Oliver, decided to open a marriage bureau. They found a tiny office on London’s Bond Street and set about the delicate business of match-making. Drawing on the bureau’s extensive archives, author Penrose Halson—who many years later found herself the proprietor of the bureau—tells Heather and Mary’s story, and the stories of their clients. We meet a remarkable cross-section of British society in the 1940s: gents with a “merry twinkle,” potential fifth-columnists, nervous spinsters, isolated farmers seeking “a nice quiet affekshunate girl” and girls looking “exactly” like Greta Garbo and Vivien Leigh, all desperately longing to find The One. And thanks to Heather and Mary, they almost always did just that.

A riveting glimpse of life and love during and after the war, The Marriage Bureau—which is in development for television—is not only a heart-warming and absorbing account of a world gone by, but also touches upon timeless themes. “Be it 1946 or 2016, we still worry about money, ailing parents, loneliness and finding someone to love.” (Daily Mail [UK])


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