Dear Mr Bigelow - A Transatlantic Friendship-logo

Dear Mr Bigelow - A Transatlantic Friendship

Frances Woodsford

Dear Mr Bigelow 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 Bournemouth, to a wealthy American widower, living on Long Island, New York. Frances Woodsford and Commodore Paul Bigelow 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 Defence 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.

Dear Mr Bigelow 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 Bournemouth, to a wealthy American widower, living on Long Island, New York. Frances Woodsford and Commodore Paul Bigelow 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 Defence 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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Description:

Dear Mr Bigelow 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 Bournemouth, to a wealthy American widower, living on Long Island, New York. Frances Woodsford and Commodore Paul Bigelow 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 Defence 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.

Language:

English

Narrators:

Patience Tomlinson

Length:

13h 1m


Chapters

Chapter 1
Chapter 1

05:08


Chapter 2
Chapter 2

05:19


Chapter 3
Chapter 3

04:36


Chapter 4
Chapter 4

05:10


Chapter 5
Chapter 5

05:19


Chapter 6
Chapter 6

05:00


Chapter 7
Chapter 7

04:45


Chapter 8
Chapter 8

05:29


Chapter 9
Chapter 9

04:59


Chapter 10
Chapter 10

03:56


Chapter 11
Chapter 11

05:26


Chapter 12
Chapter 12

05:26


Chapter 13
Chapter 13

05:02


Chapter 14
Chapter 14

05:03


Chapter 15
Chapter 15

04:48


Chapter 16
Chapter 16

05:25


Chapter 17
Chapter 17

04:32


Chapter 18
Chapter 18

05:20


Chapter 19
Chapter 19

04:34


Chapter 20
Chapter 20

05:17


Chapter 21
Chapter 21

07:04


Chapter 22
Chapter 22

05:31


Chapter 23
Chapter 23

05:19


Chapter 24
Chapter 24

04:47


Chapter 25
Chapter 25

04:50


Chapter 26
Chapter 26

05:21


Chapter 27
Chapter 27

04:30


Chapter 28
Chapter 28

05:16


Chapter 29
Chapter 29

05:19


Chapter 30
Chapter 30

05:26


Chapter 31
Chapter 31

06:45


Chapter 32
Chapter 32

05:41


Chapter 33
Chapter 33

05:16


Chapter 34
Chapter 34

04:43


Chapter 35
Chapter 35

06:08


Chapter 36
Chapter 36

03:55


Chapter 37
Chapter 37

05:24


Chapter 38
Chapter 38

05:14


Chapter 39
Chapter 39

03:39


Chapter 40
Chapter 40

06:00


Chapter 41
Chapter 41

05:19


Chapter 42
Chapter 42

04:45


Chapter 43
Chapter 43

05:43


Chapter 44
Chapter 44

05:40


Chapter 45
Chapter 45

04:25


Chapter 46
Chapter 46

05:44


Chapter 47
Chapter 47

04:15


Chapter 48
Chapter 48

05:16


Chapter 49
Chapter 49

04:03


Chapter 50
Chapter 50

05:53


Chapter 51
Chapter 51

04:33


Chapter 52
Chapter 52

05:38


Chapter 53
Chapter 53

04:21


Chapter 54
Chapter 54

06:36


Chapter 55
Chapter 55

05:35


Chapter 56
Chapter 56

04:38


Chapter 57
Chapter 57

05:42


Chapter 58
Chapter 58

04:30


Chapter 59
Chapter 59

05:03


Chapter 60
Chapter 60

04:25


Chapter 61
Chapter 61

05:45


Chapter 62
Chapter 62

05:15


Chapter 63
Chapter 63

05:26


Chapter 64
Chapter 64

06:24


Chapter 65
Chapter 65

05:12


Chapter 66
Chapter 66

04:42


Chapter 67
Chapter 67

05:18


Chapter 68
Chapter 68

05:58


Chapter 69
Chapter 69

04:51


Chapter 70
Chapter 70

04:35


Chapter 71
Chapter 71

04:09


Chapter 72
Chapter 72

05:51


Chapter 73
Chapter 73

04:42


Chapter 74
Chapter 74

05:04


Chapter 75
Chapter 75

05:08


Chapter 76
Chapter 76

03:51


Chapter 77
Chapter 77

05:27


Chapter 78
Chapter 78

04:37


Chapter 79
Chapter 79

04:51


Chapter 80
Chapter 80

05:11


Chapter 81
Chapter 81

05:58


Chapter 82
Chapter 82

04:08


Chapter 83
Chapter 83

04:57


Chapter 84
Chapter 84

05:15


Chapter 85
Chapter 85

05:05


Chapter 86
Chapter 86

05:41


Chapter 87
Chapter 87

05:16


Chapter 88
Chapter 88

04:35


Chapter 89
Chapter 89

05:46


Chapter 90
Chapter 90

04:25


Chapter 91
Chapter 91

05:17


Chapter 92
Chapter 92

04:58


Chapter 93
Chapter 93

04:50


Chapter 94
Chapter 94

05:42


Chapter 95
Chapter 95

05:24


Chapter 96
Chapter 96

04:04


Chapter 97
Chapter 97

05:54


Chapter 98
Chapter 98

06:20


Chapter 99
Chapter 99

05:43


Chapter 100
Chapter 100

05:11


Chapter 101
Chapter 101

02:56


Chapter 102
Chapter 102

06:21


Chapter 103
Chapter 103

04:26


Chapter 104
Chapter 104

05:18


Chapter 105
Chapter 105

06:26


Chapter 106
Chapter 106

04:36


Chapter 107
Chapter 107

04:47


Chapter 108
Chapter 108

06:06


Chapter 109
Chapter 109

05:29


Chapter 110
Chapter 110

04:49


Chapter 111
Chapter 111

05:05


Chapter 112
Chapter 112

04:57


Chapter 113
Chapter 113

05:00


Chapter 114
Chapter 114

04:49


Chapter 115
Chapter 115

04:31


Chapter 116
Chapter 116

04:32


Chapter 117
Chapter 117

05:36


Chapter 118
Chapter 118

05:22


Chapter 119
Chapter 119

06:28


Chapter 120
Chapter 120

04:19


Chapter 121
Chapter 121

04:48


Chapter 122
Chapter 122

05:27


Chapter 123
Chapter 123

05:09


Chapter 124
Chapter 124

04:01


Chapter 125
Chapter 125

05:21


Chapter 126
Chapter 126

05:26


Chapter 127
Chapter 127

05:43


Chapter 128
Chapter 128

04:22


Chapter 129
Chapter 129

04:45


Chapter 130
Chapter 130

05:54


Chapter 131
Chapter 131

04:17


Chapter 132
Chapter 132

05:04


Chapter 133
Chapter 133

05:39


Chapter 134
Chapter 134

04:33


Chapter 135
Chapter 135

04:53


Chapter 136
Chapter 136

05:00


Chapter 137
Chapter 137

05:37


Chapter 138
Chapter 138

05:08


Chapter 139
Chapter 139

04:58


Chapter 140
Chapter 140

04:56


Chapter 141
Chapter 141

04:23


Chapter 142
Chapter 142

03:58


Chapter 143
Chapter 143

04:45


Chapter 144
Chapter 144

05:26


Chapter 145
Chapter 145

04:58


Chapter 146
Chapter 146

04:55


Chapter 147
Chapter 147

04:51


Chapter 148
Chapter 148

05:45


Chapter 149
Chapter 149

04:19


Chapter 150
Chapter 150

05:44


Chapter 151
Chapter 151

06:26


Chapter 152
Chapter 152

07:23