George Whitman, the founder of the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris – an iconic English-language literary hub and writers’ refuge in the heart of the French capital – has died at the age of 98.
“George suffered a stroke two months ago, but showed incredible strength and determination up to the end, continuing to read every day in the company of his daughter, Sylvia, his friends and his cat and dog,” it said.
Across the Seine from the Notre Dame Cathedral in the famously literary Latin Quarter, Shakespeare and Company has been known to generations in Paris as a haunt of aspiring writers.
Visiting authors and students would work in the shop, sleep in the stacks, and soak up Paris’s literary atmosphere.
Mr Whitman founded the store as Le Mistral in 1951, later renaming it after the previous Shakespeare and Company owned by Sylvia Beach, which in the 1920s was a gathering place for writers including Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce. READ MORE