Dear Mr Bigelow: A Transatlantic Friendship by Frances Woodsford - review by David Kynaston

David Kynaston

Saturday Specials

Dear Mr Bigelow: A Transatlantic Friendship


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‘We all love the little boy,’ noted Frances Woodsford in November 1952, ‘but whenever I have seen the whole family on the screen, the Duke of Edinburgh is invariably looking after his daughter, and leaving Charles severely alone. I can imagine he doesn’t allow his son to get spoiled, but perhaps he thinks a father should spoil his daughter a bit.’

This suggestive observation comes from one of Woodsford’s ‘Saturday Specials’ – a series of weekly letters that between 1949 and 1961 she wrote to Commodore Paul Bigelow, an aged American widower living in Bellport, Long Island. Woodsford herself was middle-aged, unmarried and living in Bournemouth, where in addition

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