“Young men wander aimlessly through life, hoping that by some happy chance they’ll meet the girl of their dreams. Girls sit at home waiting for ‘Mr Right’, a nostalgic fantasy invented by their parents. There has to be a better way.” – Mary Oliver, 1939
That better way was found in April 1939 when Mary Oliver and Heather Jenner took the business of dating into their own hands and set up the country’s first ever Marriage Bureau in London’s fashionable Bond Street.
At a time when internet dating is booming across all ages and classes, and women are setting the agenda as never before, one thing remains constant: love is too important to be left to chance. Whether the search begins with an app in the 21st century or a visit to two savvy young matchmakers in the 1940s, the desire for lifelong happiness with a perfectly suited partner is as strong as ever.
This is the remarkable true story of the Marriage Bureau; its successes, its failures and its many clients. Told with wit and honesty in Mary and Heather’s own words, it is republished now for the first time in almost eighty years.
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