The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street


Helene Hanff

Helene has published 84, Charing Cross Road which is a compilation of the letters between her, Frank Doel, his family and other Marks & Co. Employees.  While not a financial success, Hanff earns enough money to finally take a trip to London.  The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street is Hanff’s account of her journey.

The Hotel Kenilworth is located at the corner of Great Russell and Bloomsbury Streets which is where Hanff stayed during her one month stay.  Hanff, shares stories about the people she met who were touched by her book.  She in turn was touched by being held in such high regard.  What makes this special is that Hanff knows this attention will last only as long as her stay (one month) and then she will return to being a non-descript New Yorker.

I enjoyed living vicariously through Hanff as she sees London through the eyes of a child-like tourist and enjoys every bit of attention she is given and deserves.  I also learned a few things about London which I will be sure to check out during a future trip.  Don’t forget to buy this book at the same time you buy 84, Charing Cross Road and spend a delightful afternoon reading.