Founder of famed Paris English bookshop dies
George Whitman, the founder of the Shakespeare and Company bookshop in Paris – a famed writers' refuge and English-language literary hub in the French capital – died Wednesday aged 98, the shop said.
"George Whitman died peacefully at home in the apartment above his bookshop, Shakespeare and Company, in Paris," the shop announced on its Facebook page.
"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 from the Notre Dame Cathedral in the Latin Quarter, Shakespeare and Company was known to generations of expatriates in Paris as a haunt of aspiring writers, who would work in the shop and sleep in the stacks after hours.
Whitman founded the shop in 1951, naming 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.
"After a life entirely dedicated to books, authors and readers, George will be sorely missed by all his loved ones and by bibliophiles around the world who have read, written and stayed in his bookshop for over 60 years," the shop said.