In Memoriam: An Angel in Disguise

“Be Not Inhospitable To Strangers Lest They Be Angels in Disguise” – George Whitman

Just a few weeks ago, this blog featured a Parisian treasure, Shakespeare & Company. Today, this blog is dedicated to the man who made this writer’s and reader’s mecca all that it could be. George Whitman, an Angel in Disguise, died on Wednesday at the age of 98 years young.

No doubt, his spirit will linger on in every corner of the shop, between book and page now safely in the hands of his daughter and those entrusted with  Shakespeare & Company’s care.

If you have not experienced a visit to Shakespeare & Company, it is an unforgettable experience. When you cross George’s threshold, you enter another world. This is a world of books, writers, readers and a remarkable chapter in Literary History. George and Shakespeare & Company are each legendary in their own right.

Sleep well. Your rest is well earned and know you have made a difference in countless lives.  To George’s daughter Sylvia and the many others who are dedicated to continuing George’s legacy, I offer my sincere condolences.



4 thoughts on “In Memoriam: An Angel in Disguise

  1. Lea-
    This is lovely! How perfect is the Whitman quote and how true!
    Is this the same “Shakespeare & Company,” that Hemingway hug out in during WWII? Gertrude Stein owned it then?

    1. Yes it is the same book store, HEAVEN! No, Gertrude did not own it. The original owner was Sylvia Beech and she sold it to George. If it hadn’t been for Sylvia, James Joyce and others might never have been published. Joyce was not considered publishable back in Ireland but she took a chance on him. I mentioned the book, Time Was Soft There and it is a real adventure into the shop by a Canadian journalist who spent nine months there. He now lives in Marseilles. For me, and many others, it is a magical place.

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