Now a major ITV drama series, Mr Selfridge is a tale of Edwardian excess and the rise and fall of maverick retailer Harry Gordon Selfridge. In 1909 London's first dedicated department store opened in a huge blaze of publicity. Zola called Selfridges a 'great cathedral of shopping', and its high priest was Harry Gordon Selfridge, father of modern retailing, philanderer, gambler, dandy and showman. Selfridge's talents were for shopping and seduction: and as his shop grew in success, so did his list of mansions, yachts, racehorses - and conquests. He lived through the turmoil of the First World War and the glittering excesses of the 1920s before losing millions at French gaming tables and being ousted from his store in 1939.
To this irrepressible man, 'the store was a theatre with the curtain going up at 9 o'clock': Mr Selfridge reveals the captivating story of what happened before the curtain fell.
©2008 Lindy Woodhead (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
Up at the top. It has been a while since I have listened to a book that both entertained and, informed me.
The book was a journey through turn of the 20th century England and, to an extent Europe and the US. Mr. Selfridge kept me on my toes as he did his staff and, the shoppers of a now forgotten age. Did you know that television was invented and indeed used in the 1930's. In Mr. Selfridtge I saw woman's fashion tuned on its head from a dress that did not dare show an ankle to one that barely covered necessities. Every time we are entertained by newpaper ads filled with the latest gadgets Harry Selfridge lives behind them. We can blame him as well for our forming wants rather than needs. It is also a cautionary tale as he skipped across the wild and extravagent jewel filled hedonistic life of his middle years to end up as an old man whose only riches were his memories. But what memories they were. Mr. Selfridge was a well loved and considerate boss but he never provided his employees with any sort of a retirement plan. He felt that they should each provide their own. He never followed his own advise. Harry Selfridge was in many, many respects not a nice man. He was one of the most complex individuals I have met in books for many a year.He was the little boy who was very, very good or horrid.
Too many favorites. The TV show cannot give the full extent of his escapades. I would have loved to have seen his office window which was signed with a diamond tipped pen. Every celebrity who visited his store signed the window. it was distroyed in a bombing in WW2.
No, too much. Like eating a rich dessert all at once.
If you like history and are fond of rogues this is the book for you. Kudos to suthor Woodhead for her excellent, tntensive research.
Was happy to hear what really happened in Mr. Selfridge's life in the book which was more detailed, of course than in the PBS Series. Overall it was done very very well. I was pleased that the story was told as honest as possible, and what lead me to that conclusion was when numerous times it was said, "nobody knew what was really going on in his mind". Or something to that effect..Unless somebody was bold enough to keep asking.....nobody really knew. The performance was excellent also.
I will definitely share this book with family and friends. Also thankful that somebody took the time to research the life of this amazing, phenomenal minded man, who's personal problems and addictions are not so very unusual...as other rich and poor normal human beings, we are always searching because of that hole in our hearts...that emptiness that drives us to satisfy that empty feeling, pain, despair, or whatever unsettledness we may feel. My only hope and prayer for Mr.Selfridge is that somebody shared John 3:16 (for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life) to him and at least gave him the opportunity to SIMPLY accept Jesus into his heart as his personal Savior. Romans 10:9,10
Thank you for an excellent overall performance.
Worth even moment to hear the crossing paths of a man born in a rural town of WI with the global elite and the birth of modern day retailing practices.
"Had to listen to this book :-)"
Glorious listen, well narrated and one you could listen to again and again as so enjoyable.
"Did not finish"
As someone who loved the television programme I was really looking forward to listening to this book, I found it long winded and rather dull, it did come alive for me. I have not been able finish the book.
"Buy, Buy, Buy"
Yes, it's just a good story.
The one that stands out for me is at the end when Selfridge falls from grace (down the grease poll )
Has to be Mr Selfridge you just can't help but like him.
I think it was the end so sad.
I would recommend this story to any one. On Audible or book form.
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