84, Charing Cross Road Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Helene Hanff
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What month and year does Helene start her correspondence with Marks & Co.?

2. What anthology does Helene request Frank send her in late 1950?

3. Which of the following in NOT one of the bibles Marks & Co. offered Helene in place of the Bible she requested?

4. How does Frank sign off in most his letters to Helene?

5. What does Frank do with books that have no covers?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Helene respond when Cecily expresses concern for how much Helene spends on the care packages she sends?

2. What terms does Helene play "girl etymologist" for Maxine, and explain?

3. What does Helene apologize to the London booksellers for on behalf of America?

4. What does Helene apologize about in her letter to Cecily?

5. Why won't Helene send her payments in money orders instead of cash as the booksellers have requested?

6. What information does Frank's wife Nora share in her first letter to Helene?

7. What does the staff of Marks & Co. send to Helene to thank her for her generosity?

8. What are Helene's friend Maxine's impressions when she visits Marks & Co. in London?

9. What does Helene think of the first books she receives from Marks & Co. versus the books she buys in America?

10. Why does Helene joke with Frank about the British occupation of New York from 1776 through 1783?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What does Helene mean when she says she developed her "peculiar taste in books" from a Cambridge professor? Do you think she actually met this person in the library or "fell over" his book? Do you think she means literally "fell over" or metaphorically?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the theme of appearance versus reality throughout the book.

Essay Topic 3

How is the exchange of letters a small documentary of events in American and British popular culture in the 1950s and 1960s?

(see the answer keys)

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