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‘A joy to read, to look at and handle’ . . .

‘I am sending this out into the email ether simply because I need to give thanks. When I got my last polite subscription reminder from you before Christmas . . . not only did I renew but I ordered two of your beautiful limited editions – 84, Charing Cross Road and The Real Mrs Miniver. I’m so very glad that I did.

For the past week I have been confined to bed with a flu-like virus and these two wonderful books have given me so much pleasure and so much food for thought. Helene Hanff’s story is the triumph of quality over quantity. Here is a woman who owned three bookshelves but made sure she filled them with books that literally changed her life. When she finally made it to London she observed, digested and so accurately described more in six weeks than most of us do in a lifetime of living here.

As for Ysenda Maxtone Graham’s book about her grandmother, it is a triumph. It is beautifully crafted and very moving. As well as telling a terrific story, it cleverly showcases Jan Struther’s remarkable talent, and above all it very carefully and sympathetically explores the consequences of trying to be the good daughter, wife, mother, lover, professional journalist/writer/broadcaster that she tried to be. Many women, albeit in less exalted circumstances, will identify with that struggle to be all things to all people yet not to lose themselves in the process.

Not only are these books a joy to read but they are a joy to look at and handle, with their lovely bright bindings and end papers. Thank you for producing them.’ B. Berkeley-Hill, Kent

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