6 thoughts on “A life in books: Helene Hanff’s 84 Charing Cross Road

  1. A friend sent me the air-mail-cover copy from UK some time ago. I did not expected it ending in such way and sit there cried for a while. It has since become my favorite.


  2. Thanks for this essay on Helene Hanff. I read 84, Charing Cross Road many years ago and just read The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street. Like Hanff, I have been an Anglophile since I read Jane Eyre at 12. I recently visited London with my husband and two grown up children and felt just as Hanff felt upon leaving London — as if that beautiful city had been a dream. I don’t know whether Hanff ever returned to London; I feel as if she didn’t and I hope she could imagine the places she had seen and loved.


    1. Very pleased you liked it! I think I appreciated Duchess, and Apple of My Eye and Q, better the older I got. Hanff was a bit too cantankerous for me when I first read her as a teenager.


      1. Agreed. But now I am about the age Hanff was when she made her first trip to England so I identify with some of her peculiarities, especially with her complaint of “too much togetherness” during her trip to Oxford with the Colonel!


  3. Just stumbled onto your page, I am also a fan of Helene Hanff. Once when passing through JFK Airport, New York in 1992, I looked her up in the phone book and gave her a quick call. She was very gracious and appreciative. Lovely lady. Your article states her living 1916-1967, she died in 1997.


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