Marriages are Made in Bond Street: True Stories from a 1940s Marriage Bureau

Author(s): Penrose Halson

Biography / Memoir

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, Penrose Halson - who many years later found herself the proprietor of the bureau - tells their story, and those 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, Marriages Are Made in Bond Street is a heart-warming, touching and thoroughly absorbing account of a world gone by.


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A warm and touching account of the early days of one of Britain's most successful marriage bureaux.

The makers of Call The Midwife need look no further for their next television project. Daily Mail I thought this was going to be a frivolous romp through the frolicks of wartime matchmaking and, indeed, it is a book full of charm and hilarity, written in a no-nonsense style by an accomplished writer and storyteller, but it adds up to far more than that. Country Life Glimpse into the matchmaking world of 1940s London with this delightful book. New Day An absorbing story ... the book crackles with insights into the mores of those times. Mail on Sunday A fascinating account The Lady

Penrose Halson's career encompassed teaching, writing, editing and, to her astonishment, becoming first lady Master of a City Livery Company. Her determined mother sent her to the Katharine Allen Marriage & Advice Bureau, of which she became proprietor in 1986. In 1992 it incorporated Heather Jenner's agency. Aged forty-eight she finally delighted her mother by marrying and lives in London with her husband.

* Introduction - i: Prologue* Chapter - 1: Audrey's Uncle Has a Brainwave* Chapter - 2: No, It's Not a Brothel* Chapter - 3: Open for Matrimonial Business* Chapter - 4: The Capitulation of Cedric Thistleton* Chapter - 5: The Perfect Secretary and Other Learning Curves* Chapter - 6: New Clients Wanted - But No Spies, Please* Chapter - 7: Mary Transforms Myrtle* Chapter - 8: The Mansion and the Mating* Chapter - 9: Mary's Bones and Babies* Chapter - 10: While Bombs Fall the Bureau Booms* Chapter - 11: Sex, Tragedy, Success and Bust Bodices* Chapter - 12: A Sideline and Two Triumphs* Chapter - 13: Other Agendas, Pastures New* Chapter - 14: Heather Chooses Mating over Chickens* Chapter - 15: Picot and Dorothy Hold the Fort* Chapter - 16: Peacetime Problems* Chapter - 17: Loneliness and Heartbreak* Chapter - 18: Mr Hedgehog, Journalists, a Tiny Baptist and Lies* Chapter - 19: A Chapter of Accidents and Designs* Chapter - 20: Thanks to Uncle George** Section - ii: Appendix* Section - iii: Requirements of female clients 1939-c.1949* Section - iv: Requirements of male clients 1939-c.1949* Section - v: Interviewers' comments 1939-c.1949* Acknowledgements - vi: Acknowledgements* Acknowledgements - vii: Picture Acknowledgements

General Fields

  • : 9781509822423
  • : Pan Macmillan
  • : Pan Books
  • : February 2017
  • : 197mm X 130mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : February 2017
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 368
  • : Penrose Halson
  • : Paperback
  • : Main Market Ed.
  • : en
  • : 306.730942109044