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This report is taken from PN Review 77, Volume 17 Number 3, January - February 1991.

It all began with Bertha Jones David Arkell
A few doors along from Shelley's house on the corner of Poland Street you will find Grant and Cutler's foreign bookshop at 55 Great Marlborough St, London W1. Quite a contrast to the suite of the 17th century cubby-holes in Buckingham St, Strand, where G&C had been for the previous fifty years.

I won't deny that it was a shock when the move happened five years ago: for many people, including me, the old spot was magical, a life-line to the Continent and a refuge when London became too bleak. I spent a lot of time there and knew Mr Cutler well by sight, but strangely we only met the other day. In hindsight I see him as a slightly harassed figure dashing from one small room to another clutching a bundle of books. Today he sits serene in a lofty office backstage and, with the extra leisure, has acquired added distinction. Surrounded by a hundred thousand books and 40 staff (most of them honours graduates and bi-lingual) he told me how it all began.

Grant and Cutler first met in the Cambridge bookshop where they both worked: Bowes and Bowes in Trinity Street, opposite Senate House. Geoffrey Grant, who was 14 years older than Frank Cutler, had spent the First World War in Germany as an internee, having gone there to learn the language after a year in Nantes learning French. 'He had all sorts of plans and I was caught up with them. Geoffrey was ...


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