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Q's Legacy by Helene Hanff
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Q's Legacy (1985)

by Helene Hanff

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If you haven’t read 84, Charing Cross Road then this book won’t make much sense to you. But if you have read then you will love this book.
As a young woman Helene Hanff discovered On the Art of Writing by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch. Aspiring to be a writer herself she found Q’s (as Quiller-Couch was called by everyone) lecture notes to be invaluable for learning the craft. Helene was not making much money but borrowing books from a library was not satisfactory for her. So, whenever she could eke out a few dollars, she would buy used copies of books for her book shelves. In a newspaper she saw a small ad for books from a London bookseller, Marks and Co at 84, Charing Cross Road. She wrote to them asking if they had 3 books she was looking for providing they cost less than $5 each. Marks and Co sent her two of the books and the correspondence detailed in 84, Charing Cross Road started. This book tells the story of how that book succeeded and spawned a television production, a play and more books and took Hanff across the ocean to London several times.
It is a charming story and one any book lover will adore. ( )
  gypsysmom | Sep 3, 2014 |
Any book about reading books is likely to be a good book, in my opinion :) I enjoyed Helene Hanff and her autodidactic approach to learning--twas refreshing, especially with her having lived when she did. These days, learning on one's own is so often considered radical when that's the natural way things go. I liked this book and have thus been prompted to seek out more of Ms. Hanff's writings. ( )
  Dana_Britt | Aug 25, 2014 |
Definitely a keeper. This is the story of her quest to become a writer. Not able to afford college, she went to the library and started in the 800 section (English Literature) under "A." She examined every author trying to find one she could understand and who had something to say. There was only one author under "Q," Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, M.A., a Professor at Cambridge. Thus begins her education, and her memoir.

Hanff's warm personality and humor shine in this. It is a wonderful example of how to pursue something you want very much. I was impressed with her courtesy towards her fans and her stick-to-it-iveness. I'm a big fan of homeschooling, and this is a terrific example of a motivated person getting an excellent education. The story loses a bit of its edge towards the end, but her humor keeps it pleasurable. ( )
1 vote MrsLee | Mar 31, 2014 |
Re-reading this book is like re-visitng an old friend. This companion to 84 Charing Cross Road may not be quite as luminous as the original, but it is still wonderful and dear nonetheless. ( )
  bookwoman247 | Jul 26, 2013 |
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In grateful memory of Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch
"Not to pay a debt but to acknowledge it."
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Q and I first met on a summer morning when I was eighteen, at the main branch of the Philadelphia Public Library where I'd gone in search of a teacher; and I took him home with me despite certain doubts about his fitness for the post.
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This ebullient memoir chronicles the author's lifelong love of books, which began with Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch's "The Art of Writing" and developed with works by Izaak Walton, Cardinal Newman, and Milton.

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