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Whiteley's Folly: The Life and Death of a Salesman Paperback – 14 Oct 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press; UK ed. edition (14 Oct. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750935618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750935616
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 630,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Adolf Hitler ordered the Luftwaffe not to bomb Whiteleys as he wanted it as his headquarters once he'd invaded Britain. Eliza Dolittle is sent "to Whiteleys to be attired" in Pygmalion. Whiteleys was the Harrods of the nineteenth century. Its clients included English and overseas royalty and it offered - and delivered - 'Everything from a pin to an Elephant'. Created by William Whiteley, a draper's assistant from Yorkshire, who come to London with just a few pounds in his pocket, it was a remarkable achievement by a remarkable man. A seemingly bluff, good-hearted family man, in private Whiteley was a bully and a tyrant. Burned in effigy by local tradesman, his store was subject to five major arson attacks, while in his personal life his wife sued for divorce on the grounds of adultery and cruelty. The end came in 1907 when Horace Raynor - possibly Whiteley's illegitimate son - came begging for a job. Dismissed with contempt Horace shot Whiteley twice, killing him, then turned the gun on himself.

About the Author

Linda Stratmann is a freelance writer and editor, and is the author of 'Chloroform: The Quest for Oblivion' (Sutton)

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