Aerated Bread Company
|File:An Aerated Bread Shop.jpg An Aerated Bread Shop in Highways and Byways of London (1902)|
|Fate||Acquired by Allied Bakeries in 1955|
|Founded||London, England (1862)|
|Founder||Dr. John Dauglish|
|Headquarters||London, England, United Kingdom|
Number of locations
|250 tea shops (1923)|
Dr. John Dauglish (Founder)
|Products||Baked goods, Teas, "Greasy spoon" offerings|
|Owner||Associated British Foods|
The Aerated Bread Company Ltd (Aërated Bread Company or A.B.C.) was founded in the United Kingdom (UK) in 1862 by Dr. John Dauglish. Its aim was to mass produce healthy, additive-free breads using a new bread leavening technology invented by the company's founder. Dauglish's system was a yeast-free, carbonic acid gas (i.e., carbon dioxide) method of bread making: "Nothing but flour, water, a little salt and gas—no sweat! It was liked by many." In addition to the bakery, the company was especially well known for its many tea shops that operated from 1864.
The company ceased operation in the 1980s.
- 1 History
- 2 End of an era
- 3 Literary references
- 3.1 The End of the Affair (Graham Greene)
- 3.2 Dracula (Bram Stoker)
- 3.3 "The Philanthropist and the Happy Cat" (Saki)
- 3.4 The Old Man in the Corner (Baroness Orczy)
- 3.5 “A Cooking Egg” (T.S. Eliot)
- 3.6 The Pilgrimage Vol. II - The Tunnel (Dorothy Richardson)
- 3.7 Night and Day (Virginia Woolf)
- 3.8 The Secret Adversary (Agatha Christie)
- 3.9 Jacob's Room (Virginia Woolf)
- 3.10 Augustus Carp Esq (by Himself)
- 3.11 Not That It Matters (A. A. Milne)
- 3.12 Asta's Book (Ruth Rendell)
- 3.13 Cakes and Ale (Somerset Maugham)
- 4 References
The Aerated Bread Company Ltd was founded in 1862 by Dr. John Dauglish (1824–1866), an "ingenious and earnest sanitarian as well as social reformer". The business was created as an incorporated company listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Creation as a corporation was part of the then growing mid to late 19th-century trend in Britain to satisfy the "English demand for their industrial concerns to be incorporated under their Individual Liability act", which was in stark contrast to the far smaller rate of incorporation in the United States and listings on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). However, this British, Victorian-era rate of incorporation and LSE listings would not have continued apace "if the majority of the companies floated on the London Stock Exchange had not realized the hopes indulged at their formation". Evidence of this is A.B.C. itself: Although certain failure was predicted, and its initial public offering was poorly supported, its initial £1 shares eventually rose to £5 7s 8d by 1890. By 1898, shares had more than doubled from their 1890 value and were trading at £12 per share and declaring a dividend of 37½ percent. By 1899, A.B.C. shares had increased a further 16⅔ percent and were trading at £14 per share.
Dauglish earned his medical degree at Edinburgh. Having been thoroughly unimpressed by the Scottish bread of the day, he began to make his own, and to study the science associated with the process. When he applied his earlier studies in chemistry to the process of bread making, he determined that it would be possible to produce carbonic acid gas in bread without yeast. He established that if one could instead introduce carbon dioxide to the process—by dissolving it into solution in the water—this would eliminate the need for fermentation, dramatically reduce the need for physical contact with the dough on the part of the workers, and consequently introduce a greater level of cleanliness into the bread making process. Dauglish "aimed at the abolition of manual kneading with its associated nastiness and dangers to cleanliness and health". Some years later, an 1878 issue of the scientific journal, Nature, reported:
As to the perfect cleanliness of this mechanical process for making bread there can be no question; it is immeasurably superior to the barbarous and old, but as Dr. Richardson remarked, not “time-honoured system of kneading dough by the hands and feet of the workman.”
Such a system would also lend itself to a high degree of automation. This method thus leavens bread, without yeast, by forcing carbon dioxide into the dough under pressure. A patent for this revolutionary new method of bread making was granted in 1856.
In 1859, Dauglish presented a paper on his new method to the Royal Society of Arts, for which he received a silver medal. "[F]rom this time the success of the ‘aërated’ bread was secured." Also, Dauglish's method received endorsements from various Victorian-era physicians and sanitarians helping to further cement the future success of his endeavour. "[A]erated bread is perfectly wholesome." Moreover, because it was considered a healthful bread, it was introduced into many hospitals.
In 1862, the Aerated Bread Company was set up to economically exploit Dauglish's newly patented method that injected carbonic acid gas (i.e., carbon dioxide) into the bread making process, eliminated yeast and other additives, and drastically reduced production time.
[Dauglish] made an arrangement by which he brought together, in a closed apparatus, the flour, out of which the dough was to be made, and water supersaturated with the carbonic acid gas. He incorporated the flour with the water and gas under pressure, and when the incorporation was complete, the mixture was drawn off, when it expanded into a spongy mass, and produced a dough perfect in character, and ready for the oven.</p>
By this simple method, he, so to speak, "set the sponge" without any of the cumbrous processes connected with fermentation.</blockquote>
With the Dauglish technique, "all the destructive influence of fermentation is prevented". That is, "there is no chemical decomposition of the flour whatever, and therefore no loss of material, while the rising of the dough is just as effectively carried out" as with traditional dough fermentation. Nutritionally, the bread created under the Dauglish method contains "all the gluten and all the albuminous food of the wheat", each of which is diminished in quantity under traditional fermentation methods.
A further benefit of the process is that, unlike with the traditional fermentation method, additives like alum never have to be added to slow the rate of fermentation, leading Richardson to term Aerated bread "additive-free". The 1878 issue of Nature reported thatThe stream of pure water charged with carbonic acid gas vesiculates the dough, which has required neither alum, nor blue vitriol, nor lime-water, to check the irregular fermentation, and neutralise the sourness of mouldy or otherwise damaged or inferior flour.
However, the journal went on to say that aerated bread is not entirely additive free inasmuch as some minor, less objectionable additives are sometimes still introduced to the process:[T]he adoption of the aerating process does not of itself necessarily exclude all adulterations of the bread: materials to whiten the loaf and to cause the retention of a larger percentage of water may still be used.
The aeration method accrues to the bakery three production economies: material savings, time savings, and labour savings. As an illustration of the first of these economies, Dauglish estimated that, by eliminating the decomposition of the starches and gluten that occur from traditional fermentation (a loss equal to between three and six percent), this had a value in the middle of the 19th century of "£5,000,000 in the total quantity of bread made, annually, in the United Kingdom" (£427,000,000 in current terms). The process is a highly automated one, and thus saves time and reduces labour costs. Whereas the traditional dough fermentation method required between eight and ten hours to ready a batch of dough for baking, the Dauglish method has dough ready for the ovens in "less than thirty minutes." Shortly, "after the two sacks of flour (weighing 560 pounds) are placed in the mixer, there are produced, tinned, and placed in the oven, four hundred two-pound loaves." And since the bread dough is ready for the ovens so quickly, the daily hours worked can be reduced, perhaps obviating the need for the night shifts that were so prevalent in the baking industry at the time. A health benefit to labour is that the workers "are relieved from a circumstance most destructive to their health, that of inhaling the flour dust in the process of kneading" since the Dauglish method, and the automation thereof, does not require the kneading of the dough by hand. Finally, the lack of most additives to enhance the fermentation process reduces the cost of factor inputs while also producing a virtually unadulterated product.
The technology so reduced the cost of production, that it meant that A.B.C. could sell its product for less than its competitors, the traditional fermentation method bakers. The downward impact on prices of A.B.C. moving into a market could be felt almost immediately. For example, in 1866 Australia, A.B.C. had "not only benefited the public by selling its own bread at a cheaper rate than the bakers were selling, but it has led them [the bakers] to reduce their prices. Bakers who a fortnight ago were charging 6d. for the two-pound loaf, are now advertising it at 5d. or 5½d." This represented a drop in price of between 8⅓ percent and 16⅔ percent.
Competition from A.B.C. had more than just a price effect on the traditional fermentation bakers, who responded, in some instances, with unusual advertising efforts to retain market share. The traditional fermentation process produces alcohol within the dough. To counter the success of aerated bread in the market, traditional fermentation bakers began focussing on this in their advertising. To that end, placard advertisements were used—especially in the neighbourhood of the A.B.C. factory—urging people to "buy the bread with the gin in it", at a time when gin was thought to have medicinal properties as it was made from juniper berries. The traditional fermentation bakers neglected to inform the readers of these placard adverts that virtually all of the alcohol dissipates in the extreme heat of the ovens. The journal, Nature, reports that traditional baking techniques of the time left only trace amounts of alcohol in the finished product, equal to an extremely small 0.25% per loaf. The author suggests that Dr. Richardson's great support of aerated bread at the expense of traditionally baked bread was "because it gave him an opportunity of having a fling at his old enemy, alcohol". In fact, Nature points out that the amount of alcohol per traditional, yeast loaf is so small that "a man who eats twenty quartern [i.e., four-pound] loaves has therein consumed an amount of alcohol which is commonly contained in one bottle of port!" Thus, the consumption of 80 pounds of such bread would be equivalent to the consumption of one bottle of 1870s port.
A.B.C.'s first bakery was in Islington, London. In the late Victorian-era, the Dauglish method was considered the superior system by which to mass produce bread. In his memoir of the method, the eminent 19th-century physician and sanitarian, Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson, a later director of the company, wrote:I am convinced, from careful and prolonged observation, that the Dauglish method of bread manufacture is on the whole the best that has been discovered … [I]t is the cleanliest of all the processes known and followed; it calls for less drudgery, and, it is not unjust to say, less objectionable labour, from the employed in bread manufacture; it inflicts less arduous toil, and so lessens the rapid wearing out of the body, which is an unfortunate fate of many of those who are engaged in the manufacture of the staff of life; it supplies a purer article to those who depend, largely, upon the staff of life for their daily aliment. Lastly, it supplies … a better article, one which gives to the public the fullest food value that can be got out of the corn [i.e., wheat] from which the food is made, and which enables the manufacture of all kinds of flour or meal, white meal, mixed meal, whole meal, to be most completely and most easily produced.We have been shown specimens of this new and excellent article of food, manufactured by the Aerated Bread Company … It far surpasses anything of the kind yet introduced. With their increased facilities for making bread, the Aerated Bread Company hope soon to introduce to the trade all the varieties necessary for household consumption.
The four-year effort expended by Dauglish in introducing his revolutionary bread-making system had a negative impact upon his health, forcing him to spend ever more time "taking the cures" at various health resorts throughout Europe. In 1865, his health worsened while visiting Paris. He returned to the U.K. and died at Malvern in early 1866 and is buried at Malvern Wells.
Thirty years after Dauglish's death, his company was thriving. As a result of its market success derived from its revolutionary technology, A.B.C.'s shares were trading at 12 times their initial public offering price and, at its 1895 annual general meeting, it was stated by the presiding officer, Major John Bolton, that A.B.C. "had no reason to fear competition".
The Dauglish method survived its creator, and Dauglish's company survived him by well over a century, but his method has since been rendered obsolete in the U.K. by the adoption of mechanical, high-speed dough processes such as the Chorleywood Bread Process (CBP), now responsible for 80 percent of U.K. bread production. Such newer "no time" methods permit the use of lower grade flours, resulting in a product of less nutritional value than breads made by earlier methods such as Dauglish's system.
Tea shops and early women's issues
A.B.C. was also revolutionary for its chain of self-service A.B.C. tea shops, the fast-food outlets of their day. These grew from A.B.C. opening the U.K.'s first tearoom in 1864, two years after the company's founding. The first A.B.C. tea shop opened in the courtyard of London's Fenchurch Street Railway Station. The idea for opening the tearoom is attributed to a London-based manageress of the Aerated Bread Company "who'd been serving gratis tea and snacks to customers of all classes, [and] got permission to put a commercial public tearoom on the premises." The motivation for the company acting upon the manageress's suggestion was "the fact that the sale of bread alone was not proving a dividend-earning proposition."
The tearooms were significant since they provided one of the first public places where women in the Victorian era could eat a meal, by herself or with women friends, without a male escort. While by 1880 unescorted women could visit higher-end restaurants, they had to avoid the bar. In at least one instance, one could find a women's social club housed directly above an A.B.C. tea shop:The New Somerville Club, close to Oxford Circus … was located over an Aerated Bread Company's shop, and notwithstanding the complaint that the female employées [sic] of that company do not participate in the vast profits of the undertaking, the members of the Somerville get meals from the aerated bread shop sent up to the general room above, a bright and very prettily furnished apartment. Men are admitted to this club as guests.
The reference to the female employees of the company not sharing in the company's profits was a very real concern at the time. It was even referred to as a "gross case of company inhumanity." At the 1895 annual general meeting of the company, Dr. Richardson proposed, and another doctor (also a director), Dr. Furnival, seconded, "giving the girls employed by the company some additional advantages." The physicians felt that if the company "did not give them one meal a day … they were a mean and shabby lot." The board chairman felt that the company had made great strides in that area: they were already giving the employees one meal a day, providing a hot dinner "at a nominal price," and "[n]ot a girl went into the company's service now who did not receive 10s a week."
However, the remunerative conditions of the employees remained an important issue that came to a boil at the 1898 annual general meeting:The Aeræted Bread Company [sic] this year pays 37½ per cent, and the dividends for the previous four years were 30, 32, 34, and 35, and there were some bonuses besides. The £1 shares are quoted at [i.e., trading at] £12, and a shareholder was hissed down at the annual meeting and ruled out of order by the chairman because he hinted that the unique prosperity of the company should be accompanied by some rise in the wages for the girls in the shops. The wage for these girls is between 10s and 12s a week for their whole time. [Emphasis added.]
As safe havens for unescorted women of the Victorian era, the A.B.C. tea shops were recommended to delegates of the Congress of the International Council of Women held in London the week ending 9 July 1899.
In 1908, the A.B.C. tea shops once again figured in women's issues of the Edwardian era. It was the custom of the day for women to wear corsets so tight that it gave the wearer waistlines of as little as 17 inches. This was referred to as "tight-lacing." In an instance that gained certain publicity, a waitress at an A.B.C. tea shop died as a result of tight-lacing. Her death "through tight-lacing … brought the subject of tight-lacing under discussion." As a direct result, corsetières dubbed the era "decidedly the days of the woman with medium waist — that all model gowns have medium waists, and that whereas a few seasons ago corsets were made for 17in, 18in, and 19in waists, 23in is now the average measurement for young women." Thus, this single death of an A.B.C. tea shop waitress from tight-lacing resulted directly in the "letting out" of the waistlines of women's gowns and their underlying corsets.
Success such as that of A.B.C.'s, often leads to litigators in search of "deep pockets." In 1919, a diner at an A.B.C. shop in Sydney, Australia, filed a claim against A.B.C. for £1,000 claiming that she had eaten a pie at A.B.C. that contained a mouse. The plaintiff was revealed to have filed a false claim and the court found for the defendant, A.B.C.:
At its peak in 1923, A.B.C. had 150 branch shops in London and 250 tea shops and was second in terms of outlets only to J. Lyons and Co. This proliferation led George Orwell to view A.B.C.'s tea shops, and those of its competitors, as thesinister strand in English catering, the relentless industrialisation that was overtaking it: the 162 teashops of the Aerated Bread Company, the Lyons Corner Houses, which rolled out 10 miles of swiss roll every day and manufactured millions of “frood” (frozen cooked food) meals, the milk bars that served "no real food at all … Everything comes out of a carton or a tin, or is hauled out of a refrigerator or squirted out of a tap or squeezed out of a tube."
This did not stop such luminaries as George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) from frequenting A.B.C.'s teashops. His diaries are replete with entries attesting to his being a habitué of the establishment at various of its London locations. One such entry is for 12 December 1888: "… to the Aerated Bread Shop opposite the Mansion House station and had some eggs and chocolate there." A later entry for 27 January 1891, has him taking tea "at the Aerated Bread Shop at the corner of Parliament Square." An entry from 4 January 1892, has Shaw holding a meeting of the Shelley Society's The Cenci committee at the A.B.C. teashop at Rathbone Place.[note 1] Among other A.B.C. locations at which Shaw dined were Charing Cross Station, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, and opposite St. Clement Danes Church.
End of an era
1955 saw the end of the Aerated Bread Company as an independent operation. Australian operations had been liquidated in 1951. British operations were forever changed when the company was purchased by Allied Bakeries (now part of Associated British Foods) in 1955 by the "Barnum of Bread", Canadian-born Garfield Weston. With this acquisition, the self-service A.B.C. tea shops would join the high-end, morning-coated service of Fortnum & Mason, already in Weston's corporate empire. As one U.S. magazine of the day put it: "[T]he Piccadilly prince is about to marry the tearoom Cinderella." Allied was expected to pay $8.1 million for A.B.C. At that time, Allied itself had a large share of the UK baked goods market. Allied's marketshare prior to acquiring A.B.C. was 10% of all UK bread production and the sale, per day, of 20 million biscuits (cookies in North America). Allied's sales the year prior were $154 million with profits of $12.6 million million in current dollars). Worldwide, companies under Weston's umbrella had sales of over $1 billion in 1954 and profits of over $40 million. Weston had the golden touch when it came to creating and operating extremely profitable companies during the Great Depression, the war, and the economic slump that was Britain in the immediate postwar years.With London's ABC shops, where profits have been slipping, Baker Weston once more expects to show Britons how to turn flour into gold. For a starter, he will spend nearly $3,000,000 to expand the business, sell more baked goods, and hopes to push the chain into the No. 1 spot as Britain's biggest low-cost restaurant business. [Emphasis added.]
With this acquisition, Allied would almost double its share of the UK's bread market by the end of the decade.
Under the Allied banner, A.B.C. continued trading until the early 1980s when the name disappeared. For many years it had had a major bakery on the Regent's Canal in Camden Town, London. This closed in the 1980s when A.B.C. ceased operation and today is the site of a Sainsbury's store and Grand Union Walk Housing, both designed by prominent English architect, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw of Grimshaw Architects.
Dauglish's method has since been rendered obsolete in the UK by the adoption of mechanical, high-speed dough processes such as the Chorleywood Bread Process (CBP), now responsible for 80 percent of UK bread production. One should note that since the new "no time" methods — such as CBP — permit the use of lower grade flours, the resultant product is of less nutritional value than breads made by earlier methods such as Dauglish's aerated bread system.
Nowadays, the only traces of the Aerated Bread Company are faded signs above stores, such as 232 Strand, now a supermarket.
The End of the Affair (Graham Greene)
The story is set in post-World War II London in the 1940’s. Twice the narrator, Maurice Bendrix, visits an A.B.C. The first time he confers with a detective, Mr. Parkis, “who had met me by appointment in an A.B.C—it was his own suggestion as he had the boy with him and couldn’t take him into a bar” (Book Two, Chapter 6). The second time occurs as Bendrix searches for his former lover, Sarah Miles: “There was an A.B.C in the High Street and I tried that. She wasn’t there” (Book Four, Chapter 1).
Dracula (Bram Stoker)
In the latter part of the novel, Jonathan Harker recalls stopping at the Aerated Bread Company for a cup of tea, after having spent the afternoon searching for Count Dracula's lair.It was now dark, and I was tired and hungry. I got a cup of tea at the Aerated Bread Company and came down to Purfleet by the next train.
"The Philanthropist and the Happy Cat" (Saki)
The smug Jocantha Bessbury decides to give a theater ticket to someone less fortunate than herself:She went forth in search of a tea-shop and philanthropic adventure. ... In a corner of an A.B.C. shop she found an unoccupied table, whereat she promptly installed herself, impelled by the fact that at the next table was sitting a young girl, rather plain of feature, with tired, listless eyes and a general air of uncomplaining forlornness.
The Old Man in the Corner (Baroness Orczy)
In a 1909 collection of short stories entitled, The Old Man in the Corner, by Baroness Orczy, a "teahouse detective" named Bill Owen meets and discusses criminal cases with a young woman journalist, Miss Polly Burton, in an A.B.C. teashop. The teashops are first mentioned in "The Fenchurch Street Mystery."Now this particular corner, this very same table, that special view of the magnificent marble hall — known as the Norfolk Street branch of the Aërated Bread Company's depôts — were Polly's own corner, table, and view. Here she had partaken of eleven pennyworth of luncheon and one pennyworth of daily information ever since that glorious never-to-be-forgotten day when she was enrolled on the staff of the Evening Observer (we'll call it that, if you please), and became a member of that illustrious and world-famed organization known as the British Press.
“A Cooking Egg” (T.S. Eliot)
In a poem composed in 1917 and first published in 1919, T.S. Eliot asks, "Where are the eagles and the trumpets?" His answer:Buried beneath some snow-deep Alps.
Over buttered scones and crumpets
Weeping, weeping multitudes
Droop in a hundred A.B.C.’s.
The Pilgrimage Vol. II - The Tunnel (Dorothy Richardson)
Miriam is discussing where to eat following her statements damning the conventional lives women were forced to follow.
"'What would you have done?' 'An egg, at an A.B.C.s.' 'How fond you are of them A.B.C.s.' 'I love them.' 'What is it you love about them?' 'I think it's their dowdiness. The food is honest; not showy, and they are so blissfully dowdy.'"
Night and Day (Virginia Woolf)
In the Virginia Woolf novel, Night and Day, Katherine Hilbery goes into an A.B.C. shop to write a letter to Ralph Denham.
"She would write him a letter and take it at once to his house. She bought paper and pencil at a bookstall, and entered an A.B.C. shop, where, by ordering a cup of coffee, she secured an empty table, and began at once to write..."
The Secret Adversary (Agatha Christie)
In the 1922 espionage thriller, The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie, Tommy Beresford is held captive by a spy ring. Upon escaping, the first thing Tommy does is head to an A.B.C. teashop for sustenance.First of all, he must have a square meal. He had eaten nothing since midday yesterday. He turned into an A.B.C. shop and ordered eggs and bacon and coffee. Whilst he ate, he read a morning paper propped up in front of him.
Once satiated, Tommy and his partners in detection go on to foil the plans of the conspirators.
Another story, the short story "The Sunningdale Mystery" from the "Partners in Crime" series, opens with Tommy and his partner Tuppence eating in an A.B.C. shop having a cheese cake.
Jacob's Room (Virginia Woolf)
In the Virginia Woolf novel, Jacob's Room, Florinda walks the streets of London and ends up in an A.B.C. shop.
"Now Florinda wept, and spent the day wandering the streets [...] read love letters, propping them against the milk pot in the A.B.C. shop; detected glass in the sugar bowl; accused the waitress of wishing to poison her; declared that young men stared at her..."
Augustus Carp Esq (by Himself)
Having entered commercial life as a show-room manager in the religious publishing business of Mr Chrysostom Lorton of Paternoster Row, Enfield, Augustus Carp makes several references to the Aerated Bread Company in a detailed description of his daily routine:At eleven o'clock, therefore, I would despatch Miss Botterill to a neighbouring branch of the Aerated Bread Company for a glass of hot milk and a substantial slice of a cake appropriately known as lunch cake. I would then, at twelve-thirty, repair in person to the same branch of this valuable company, where I would generally order from one of the quieter waitresses a double portion of sausages and mashed potatoes, accompanied by a cup of coffee, and followed by an apple dumpling or a segment of baked jam roll.
and:By three o'clock, however, they had both returned, and I would take the opportunity, five minutes later, of again sending Miss Botterill to the Aerated Bread Company for my mid-afternoon cup of tea. This I would drink, unthickened by food, but at half-past four I would send her out for another cup, and with this I would eat a roll and butter, a small dish of honey, and perhaps a single doughnut.
Not That It Matters (A. A. Milne)
This is a collection of essays and articles written by Milne while editor of Punch Magazine. In one entitled, "The Diary Habit", Milne gives an example of how an exciting diary entry would be written, complete with a visit to an ABCTUESDAY.—"Letter from solicitor informing me that I have come into £1,000,000 through the will of an Australian gold-digger named Tomkins. On referring to my diary I find that I saved his life two years ago by plunging into the Serpentine. This is very gratifying. Was late at the office as I had to look in at the Palace on the way, in order to get knighted, but managed to get a good deal of work done before I was interrupted by a madman with a razor, who demanded £100. Shot him after a desperate struggle. Tea at an ABC, where I met the Duke of —-. Fell into the Thames on my way home, but swam ashore without difficulty."
In the section of the novel dealing with the trial of Alfred Roper for the murder of his wife, Alfred's friend testifies that Alfred told him of his marital troubles when they met "in an ABC teashop in the neighborhood of Leicester Square."
Chapter 14: Mrs Barton Trafford supports up and coming authors, including Edward Driffield (one of the main characters in the book) whom she meets in London: "Sometimes she took him for a walk on the Chelsea Embankment ... and had tea in an ABC shop."
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