INSCRIBED BY HANFF
HANFF, Helene (author). 84, Charing Cross Road. London; Andre Deutsch. 1971.
8vo. Original red linson boards lettered in black to spine, preserved in laminated pictorial dustwrapper; pp. [viii] + 96; a very fresh copy, both externally and internally, with upper board slightly sprung, as usual, and light dusting and spotting to edges of book block, protected by an unusually fresh, unclipped dustwrapper (£1.45) with a couple of negligible, and tiny, closed nicks to top edge and only one, barely noticeable, and again tiny (5mm), closed tear to bottom edge of upper panel, expertly repaired to the reverse with archival tissue-tape; very scarce signed.
First edition of this "record of a love affair between a lady and a shop" (flap blurb) which became a successful, and award-winning, film in 1987, directed by David Jones, produced by Mel Brooks, and starring Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins. This is a presentation copy which is inscribed by the author to the front free endpaper in ink, "To John Wilson who probably wrote better letters but was too lazy to make a book of them - with admiration for his beautiful beard" and signed "Helene Hanff".
This epistolatory classic comprises letters between Helene Hanff and the antiquarian bookshop Marks & Co., mainly addressed to Frank Doel, who died in 1968. Hanff did not visit London until 1971, when the letters were published, and therefore the two correspondents never met. John Wilson, the recipient of this inscribed copy, was an employee at the bookshop Hatchards in Piccadilly. He was the son of John G. Wilson who wrote, The Business of Bookselling.