LLG Books: The Mrs Harris Series by Paul Gallico

by Sasha Wilkins on December 19, 2012 · 9 comments


Following in the steps of my beloved Persephone Books, Bloomsbury have re-issued a whole series of marvellous novels from the 20th century in print and on the Kindle.  I was particularly thrilled to see The Mrs Harris novels by Paul Gallico, which deal with the adventures of a straight talking English char* in the 1950s,  and I promptly ordered them all.

Out of print for years, and the first in a series of four books, Mrs Harris Goes to Paris should be read by every woman that loves fashion. We watch Mrs Harris fall head over heels in love with a Christian Dior couture frock, and head to Paris in pursuit of her dream.

It’s a period piece now, and a wonderful evocation of a world that no longer exists, from the gilt edged salons of the Parisian couture house, to smokey London nightclubs. It was one of my favourite books as a teenager, although it’s terribly sad in a way. (Out of print copies are sometimes found under the title Flowers for Mrs Harris.)

To my shame, I never realised that there was a Mrs Harris Goes to New York or a Mrs Harris Goes to Moscow, but in the pre-internet days, it wasn’t always so easy to find these things out if a book was out of print.

However, Mrs Harris MP is an absolute delight, and I do think that all four books would make a brilliant present for a  girl or woman at any age.

* Short for charlady. A very particular breed of working-class cleaning woman, who worked by the hour for different employers, and known for their honesty, graft and good humour.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

sadie December 19, 2012 at 13:34

this was made into a film wasn’t it, with Angela Lansbury as Mrs ‘Arris. I LOVED it. A favourite of Channel 5, and I watch it every time it’s on. she ends up with the most fabulous pink dior gown, the Elie Saab dress in the Harrods Sleeping Beauty this year reminded me of the dress in the film!

I have to buy this book. Have. To. I hope they didn’t change it too much for the film version, as Mrs H charms everyone she meets. I think Omar Sharif is in it too.

Thank you for blogging about it. You’ve really made my day!


Beautiful Things December 19, 2012 at 14:11

Oh, I LOVED Mrs Harris goes to Paris when I was young. I’m soo glad this is back in print. Thank you. x


Angela December 19, 2012 at 14:48

Added to my ever long booklist!


Lola December 19, 2012 at 20:48

I’ve never heard of the series but it does sound like a collection i would very much like to read! XX


Rose December 20, 2012 at 04:55



Jools December 20, 2012 at 06:00

Mrs Arris was one of my favourite films too, it even has a role for Fred Elliott from Coronation Street in it, as the bad Parisian! I watch it often!

I also had no idea about the other books and I am going to order them – thankyou so much for the tip :)


Victoria December 20, 2012 at 06:30

Thanks for the recommendation. I have downloaded it onto my kindle in prep for my skiing hols!


Ashely December 20, 2012 at 09:10

Ordering !!!!!!


Marie January 1, 2013 at 09:42

Oh, I am so excited they are back in print! I read them aged 11 and loved them.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: