84, Charing Cross Road Short Essay - Answer Key

Helene Hanff
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Short Essay Questions Key

1. Why does Helene Hanff write the first letter to the proprietors of the Marks & Co. bookstore in London, England?

Helene Hanff writes to the proprietors of the Marks & Co. bookstore in London, England, on October 5, 1949, in response to their advertisement in a literature review publication. The bookstore has advertised their services as "antiquarian booksellers," a term which slightly frightens Helene, but she presses on with her requests for secondhand books.

2. What is written in the first letter Helene receives from Marks & Co. bookstore?

Helene receives her first letter from Marks & Co. The writer signs off only with the initials FPD and informs Helene that they have sent a few of the books she requested and will keep searching for the others.

3. What doesn't Helene like about the New Testaments sent to her by Marks & Co?

The next books Marks & Co. sends to Helene are the New Testaments, which Helene does not appreciate upon their arrival. The translation by the Church of England from the Vulgate Latin has destroyed the lyricism of the original manuscript.

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