First Published: Viking
Published: Bloomsbury, 2012
In 1967 Dirk received a long letter from a complete stranger in the United States. The writer had by chance come across a magazine in which there were pictures of Dirk in his house on the Sussex border – the very house in which the writer herself had lived during the 1930s. It was an odd coincidence, not least because ‘Mrs X’ was a bookish intellectual with no interest in cinema, and certainly no knowledge that she had stumbled across one of the great film idols of the ‘50s and ‘60s. This was the beginning of a correspondence that was to continue for the five years until the death of ’Mrs X’ in 1972. She and Dirk never met.
First page of A Particular Friendship ⧨
Saturday, 11th March ’67
Dear Mrs X,
Thank you so much for your long and charming letter of
February 27th enclosing the photographs of the house as
it was when you lived here in the thirties. I was tremendously
interested, and will reply at length in a day or two,
when I shall have a little more time, and hope to be
able to answer some of the questions which you ask.
Meanwhile excuse this hurried note: I have been away for
a time and there is a large back-log to catch up on.
‘Only gradually does it emerge how much this correspondence meant to Dirk Bogarde himself . . . an absorbing volume in the mould of 84 Charing Cross Road’