The Marriage Bureau: The True Story of How Two Matchmakers Arranged Love in Wartime London
Even before the ‘dot coms’ helped folk scour the world for marriage partners, the practice flourished. The Marriage Bureau reveals how plucky letters followed by face-face-interviews was far more fun than today’s online photos and form-filled portrayals. Shortly before the onset of the War in 1939, Mary and Heather, both in their 20s and looking for an adventurous career, launched a matchmaking agency in a shabby little office in London. Within weeks, they were deluged with requests from young – and not so young –men and women who needed a helping hand to meet Mr. or Miss Right.
The clientele changed some during the war years, as soldiers who returned badly wounded or scarred felt their chances of finding love were poor, and the young women whose fiancés didn’t return knew a similar worry. The agency worked tirelessly and often successfully. Heather stayed with the bureau for many years, holding onto the records of heartfelt requests from the sad, the weird, the phony, rich and poor and down to earth realists whose search ended in marriage.
The author, presently owner of the bureau, breezes through the narrative, and a wacky appendix includes dozens of early requests and interview reports that crossed their desks. Heather and Mary, with no fear of cyber attack, commented exactly how they perceived each client. Hilarious!
William Morrow Paperbacks