Marriages Are Made in Bond Street

True Stories from a 1940s Marriage Bureau

3.57 based on 18 ratings & 7 reviews on

In the spring of 1939, with the Second World War looming, two determined twenty-four-year-olds, Heather Jenner and Mary Oliver, decided to open a marriage bureau. They found a tiny office on London's Bond Street and set about the delicate business of match-making. Drawing on the bureau's extensive archives, Penrose Halson - who many years later found herself the proprietor of the bureau - tells their story, and those of their clients. We meet a remarkable cross-section of British society in the 1940s: gents with a 'merry twinkle', potential fifth-columnists, nervous spinsters, isolated farmers seeking 'a nice quiet affekshunate girl' and girls looking 'exactly' like Greta Garbo and Vivien Leigh, all desperately longing to find 'The One'. And thanks to Heather and Mary, they almost always did just that.

A riveting glimpse of life and love during and after the war, Marriages Are Made in Bond Street is a heart-warming, touching and thoroughly absorbing account of a world gone by.

I thought this was going to be a frivolous romp through the frolicks of wartime matchmaking and, indeed, it is a book full of charm and hilarity, written in a no-nonsense style by an accomplished writer and storyteller, but it adds up to far more than that.
Country Life
The makers of Call The Midwife need look no further for their next television project.
Daily Mail
Glimpse into the matchmaking world of 1940s London with this delightful book.
New Day

About Penrose Halson

Penrose Halson's career encompassed teaching, writing, editing and, to her astonishment, becoming first lady Master of a City Livery Company. Her determined mother sent her to the Katharine Allen Marriage & Advice Bureau, of which she became proprietor in 1986. In 1992 it incorporated Heather Jenner's agency. Aged forty-eight she finally delighted her mother by marrying and lives in London with her husband. She is the author of Marriages Are Made in Bond Street.

Read More

From our blogs

‘NO bridge players' <br />Matchmaking in 1940s London

‘NO bridge players'
Matchmaking in 1940s London

26 April 2016

By Pan Macmillan

It’s easy to see the modern search for ‘The One’ as drastically different from courting as our parents and grandparents experienced it, but has what men and women are searching for really changed? We took a look at the bizarre, heart-breaking and hilarious requirements of t...