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Q's Legacy
by Helene Hanff | Literature & Fiction
Registered by jessibud of Toronto, Ontario Canada on 4/26/2005
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by ckwini): to be read

14 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by jessibud from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, April 26, 2005

This book has not been rated.

This is the story-behind-the-story of Helene Hanff's famous *84 Charing Cross Road* and its sequel, *The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street*. The how and why those 2 volumes came to be written and how one small event proved to be a turning point in one woman's life. This book is a must-read for the cult following that has grown up around Hanff's books. It's delicious.

I think I am about to offer this up as a bookring, and once it returns home, it will become part of my permanent collection, alongside the first two. 

Journal Entry 2 by jessibud from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Sunday, May 01, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Here's the bookring list, so far. Please journal when you receive it and again, when you're done. Thanks and enjoy!:

1 - Ms-attitude-ca - Ont
2 - Awesome Aud - Ont
3 - Miketrollstigen - Wales UK
4 - Silentmiaouw - Switzerland
5 - nice-cup-of-tea - Switzerland
6 - Whitestar - England
7 - Foucault - New Jersey
8 - Sherria - Connecticut
9 - Ceili - New York
10 - Echesketch - Virginia
11 - MaryZee - Maryland
12 - Rutchmather - Illinois
13 - Thursday5 - Ohio
14 - IACBY - Missouri
15 - ckwini - Oklahoma - currently here
16 - Wistrol - Wisconsin
17 - Hotflash - Arizona
18 - affinity4books - Texas
19 - Bethieb - Kentucky
20 - mhchipmunk - British Columbia
21 - Cestmoi - Ontario
22 - Bookgirrl - Ontario

and back home to me


Journal Entry 3 by ms-attitude-ca from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, June 15, 2005

This book has not been rated.

I got this in the mail a while back and had forgotten completely about it. I'm reading it right now, hoping I'll get done in a couple of days so I can send it off to the next person. 

Journal Entry 4 by ms-attitude-ca from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, June 21, 2005

This book has not been rated.

This book is a must read for all of Helene Hanff's fans. I loved this book as I do all of Ms. Hanff's books. You feel as though you are right there with her as she is telling you all the wonderful things that have happened to her. I have just got back from mailing this to the next participant. I hope you enjoy this delightful read as much as I did 

Journal Entry 5 by AwesomeAud from New Dundee, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, June 29, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Whee! Got this in the mail on Friday (sorry I didn't journal, I was *very* busy, and then forgot the book at work!).

I'm looking forward to reading it ASAP! 

Journal Entry 6 by AwesomeAud from New Dundee, Ontario Canada on Thursday, July 14, 2005

9 out of 10

This is very enjoyable! Anyone who's read her other two books should read this one. She tells about how she came to write the books, and how a BBC television movie and a long running London play were written based on her books. She sounds like a fun person to know; you'll want to call her up, like so many of her fans did.

Jessibud has informed me that Whitestar, who is next on the list, is going to be away for several weeks, so I should send it to Miketrollstigen in Wales, and she will move Whitestar down the list. I'll pop it in the mail as soon as I have Mike's address! 

Journal Entry 7 by wingmiketrollwing on Saturday, March 25, 2006

7 out of 10

My fault for holding up this bookring. I've had it ages but it got buried under a Mount TBR avalanche during a major room redecoration. But I'll move it on soon.

Q's Legacy is a light, engaging memoir, not a full autobiography; Helene Hanff seems far too private a person for such a project. The book focuses on her passions - books and plays and England - and on her celebrity late in life. She clearly took pleasure not so much in the fame itself as in the access it gave her to things she loved. Her story is told with warmth and enthusiasm.

HH's education was quirky. She reports 'correcting' a teacher for using the 'ungrammatical' phrase "I cannot but help..." Rotten little prig! If you want to do that sort of thing, it helps to be right. Clearly much later in life HH still hadn't seen or repented her error. And when she read Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch's advice to write simply and not use fancy words for their own sake, this comes as revelation. But I'm pleased she found it important enough to share.

There are some fascinating historical anecdotes in this journal. Overall, a very pleasant read. 

Journal Entry 8 by wingover-the-moonwing from Lausanne, Vaud Switzerland on Monday, April 03, 2006

This book has not been rated.

it arrived! thanks jessibud and miketroll, as soon as I've finished my library book I'll dig into this. 

Journal Entry 9 by wingover-the-moonwing from Lausanne, Vaud Switzerland on Friday, April 07, 2006

8 out of 10

Isn’t it strange that our failures at school rankle all through our adult life? I am still angry that more than 40 years ago I achieved an F in Latin O level (crammed in one year) and also History, which was supposed to be one of my good subjects (such a lousy teacher for my O-level year, the hairy-legged Mr Verrill who used to sit cross-legged on his desk). They cast a shadow over all my As and Bs. So I can sympathize with Helene Hanff in many ways (she begins this book by dwelling on her many failures). There must come a day when we can let go, and concentrate on the positive.

And our little triumphs. I was reminded of my mother who once, at the age of 12, got a sum right and proved her teacher wrong, in front of the headmistress who was listening into the class. This was my mother’s glory and she still remembered the incident (and loved to recount it) 50 years later. However, I can’t help but agree with Miketroll that the remark Hanff makes to her teacher is very priggish (and misguided), especially as she inflicts upon the reader the following clumsy passage on p. 31:

“… even with an occasional children’s book I was earning so little that I managed to hang onto my apartment and stay out of debt only by buying nothing I didn’t absolutely need.”

Now that’s a double negative we absolutely do not need.

I very much enjoyed 84, Charing Cross Road (haven’t read Duchess or anything else by Hanff) and so far have found this account quite warm and entertaining, if a little choppy – it seems to be a compilation of several different articles and diaries and I suspect was put together when she needed some money. Her views of England through “foreign” eyes are refreshing and amusing, and have made me take notice of things I would usually take for granted.

I haven’t finished it yet, but probably will do this weekend, and will send it on its journey early next week (I’m up to the bit where she’s staying in André Deutsch’s mother’s flat in St John’s Wood and is mystified by the plumbing in the bathtub).

Saturday: finished this morning. I liked the accounts of Hanff's stays in London, her visits to Brighton, etc., and the story behind the play. She seemed to take the Broadway flop very well, and it certainly can't be said that her successes went to her head. On the whole, a good read.


Journal Entry 10 by wingover-the-moonwing from Lausanne, Vaud Switzerland on Tuesday, April 11, 2006

This book has not been rated.

mailed it to nice-cup-of-tea today. 

Journal Entry 11 by nice-cup-of-tea from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Wednesday, April 12, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Just received in the post yesterday, perfect timing since I've just submitted my thesis and can now justifiably read without guilt :-) 

Journal Entry 12 by nice-cup-of-tea from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Saturday, April 15, 2006

9 out of 10

What a wonderful book! And it's going on my wishlist so that I can get a copy for my pc :-)

I love Helen's style of writing as well her humanity and humour which fairly spring off the page ! I loved the idea of the "Nothingbook" - a space to record thoughts and ramblings, which she used on her travels. Her thoughts about Frank's death, and then her feelings when seeing the TV series, moved me to a few tears. Jessibud, thanks for sharing ;-)

I have pm'ed whitestar for an address 

Journal Entry 13 by nice-cup-of-tea from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Sunday, April 23, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Sent to Whitestart (B Post) on April 20th 

Journal Entry 14 by wingAllistarwing from Weybridge, Surrey United Kingdom on Thursday, May 04, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Apologies, this book arrived last week but I have such trouble getting onto BC it's taken me till now to journal it!! Anyway, i read it in the meantime and thoroughly enjoyed it. Helene's style once again a pure delight! I'm just going to pm Foucault and organise to send it on its way.
OH, and this is Whitestar!! 

Journal Entry 15 by Foucault from Edison, New Jersey USA on Tuesday, July 31, 2007

This book has not been rated.

OUCH! I just found this book buried under a pile of papers! I'm so sorry to everyone who's been waiting for this book. I'm going to read it, get in touch with people after me in the ring, and see if anyone is still interested in it. 

Journal Entry 16 by Foucault from Edison, New Jersey USA on Saturday, August 11, 2007

7 out of 10

I would say that this book wouldn't make much sense to those who hadn't read 84 Charing Cross Road and The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street, but is a charming delight for those who have. This collection of pieces (and I do agree with silentmiaow who calls this "choppy") fills in a lot of the gaps between those other books.

I do apologize for holding up this ring, and will start contacting the next in line now.

8/11: contacted Sherria 

Journal Entry 17 by jessibud from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Saturday, August 11, 2007

This book has not been rated.

I just have to barge in here with a little tidbit I'm sure you will all find fascinating. I recently rabck'd copies of both 84CC and Duchess to 2 separate individuals, and one of them has already turned a copy into a bookring through Finland! One of the recent journal entries there contained the following link, one I had not seen before and I just loved it!

Possibly all the moreso because only 2 weeks ago, I was absolutely delighted to be in a small used bookstore in a little town while visiting friends and I asked the store owner if she had anything (other than 84CC or Duchess) by Helene Hanff. Not only did she actually know who I was talking about, but she went directly to a shelf and pulled out a lovely hardcover copy of *Underfoot in Show Business*!! :-)

Ok, I now return you to your bookring! 

Journal Entry 18 by Foucault from Edison, New Jersey USA on Saturday, August 11, 2007

This book has not been rated.

That's a great link, Jessibud! I'm keeping my eyes open for "Underfoot" myself.

Sherria sent me a lovely note to welcome me back to BookCrossing, and to say she found another copy elsewhere, so please pass her by.

So I'm now trying Ceili. Unfortunately, Ceili has not provided any means to contact her (no PM link) so I'll try Echesketch.

UPDATE 8/13: Echesketch got back to me, so I'll be sending this soon. 

Journal Entry 19 by echesketch from Landis, North Carolina USA on Thursday, August 23, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Received the book in the mail today! 

Journal Entry 20 by echesketch from Landis, North Carolina USA on Friday, September 07, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Another great read! I'm a huge Helene Hanff fan and her books have not disappointed me.

I'm going to veer slightly off the Q's Legacy topic here as I'll probably not have the chance to share this in the future for the obvious reason mentioned next:

For my personal collection, I've acquired all of her memoirs (84 Charing Cross Road, The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street, Q's Legacy, Apple of My Eye, Underfoot in Show Business, and Letter from New York), along with the video of 84 Charing Cross Road, and the children's book Butch Elects a Mayor. Some, but not all, of the above purchased books are registered on my bookshelf.

I've also researched her numerous educational books and plan to obtain as many of those as I can to add to my personal collection.

A few years ago I stumbled across Angela Garry's outstanding website dedicated to Helene Hanff and I refer to it often.

A funny thing happened a couple of years ago: I was interviewing a woman who happened to live on a Charing Cross Road. Can you image my excitement when I saw the letterhead on her resume! This road is coincidentally located just a few miles from my home and right next to an office building that was the then-future site of our school system's administrative offices of which I was employed. I had to rush right over to grab a few snapshots of the street sign. It prompted me to see if there were any other Charing Cross Roads and I actually found about seven located around the country.

Helene Hanff's fan-base is like that of an artist whose popularity grew even larger after she left us. I love the fact that we're all keeping her books alive through Bookcrossing and her memory alive on Angela Garry's website. I think Helene Hanff would be very pleased.

Thank you Jessibud for including me in your bookring!

Q's Legacy is back in the mail system today and heading to MaryZee. 

Journal Entry 21 by wingmaryzeewing from Taneytown, Maryland USA on Monday, September 10, 2007

This book has not been rated.

This book arrived safely in Maryland today; I've been looking forward to reading it. But I'm in the middle of a fairly lengthy bookring book right now. If this book doesn't call to me too much, it may take a couple of weeks till I get to it. If this small book calls too loudly though, I may have to devour it before then. Regardless, it won't be too long before it moves on. 

Journal Entry 22 by wingmaryzeewing from Taneytown, Maryland USA on Friday, September 21, 2007

9 out of 10

Thanks for sharing this, Jessibud. This makes me long to read 84 Charing Cross Road again, which I read about 3 years ago on a bookray. Before that, I'd never heard of Helene Hanff.

Another charming book by Helene Hanff. I love bookish books, and the BookCrossers who introduce them to me. This book was a quick, enjoyable read, just like 84CCR.

Here's another site with more about 84CCR. And there's a Charing Cross Road in Maryland (Crofton), but it's a ways from me.

This will be mailed on to Rutchmather tomorrow, Saturday, 9/22.

This is my release #28 in the 2007 Keep Them Moving challenge. 

Journal Entry 23 by Rutchmather from Rock Island, Illinois USA on Thursday, October 11, 2007

9 out of 10

I received this a couple of weeks ago! Started reading immediately, however, I left it in a doctor's office and didn't return there for a week and a half. Luckily for me, it was there when I returned. I cannot put it down so it will be on it's way pretty quick. Like TODAY (13 Oct 07). What a fun book.

Thanks Mary and jessibud.

At Project Gutenburg you can get a copy of "On The Art of Writing" by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, M.A which started Helene on this quest of hers. 

Journal Entry 24 by Thursday5 from Columbus, Ohio USA on Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This book has not been rated.

What a nice treat to find this book in my mailbox today. I will start it tonight. 

Journal Entry 25 by Thursday5 from Columbus, Ohio USA on Saturday, October 20, 2007

This book has not been rated.

I loved 84 and this book was a delightful too.

What she learned from Q brings to mind this quote that I have on my Bookcrossing page:
What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books.
Thomas Carlyle-Scottish author, essayist, & historian (1795 - 1881)

Thanks for sharing Jessibud.
I will PM the next on the list and send it on as soon as I get the address. 

Journal Entry 26 by IACBY from South Euclid, Ohio USA on Saturday, October 27, 2007

This book has not been rated.

So happy to receive this book! Will be reading asap and sending it on. :o) 

Journal Entry 27 by IACBY from South Euclid, Ohio USA on Saturday, December 08, 2007

9 out of 10

Sorry for the delay everyone, I was quite busy and didn't get to read it as soon as I would have liked to. Anyways, I really enjoyed this book. Ms. Hanff's writing is always so warm and inviting. Thank you for including me in the ring!

I will PM the next person on the list and send out as soon as I've got an address.

Happy winter everyone! 

Journal Entry 28 by IACBY from South Euclid, Ohio USA on Tuesday, December 18, 2007

This book has not been rated.

I sent the book on to ckwini in OK today.

Journal Entry 29 by ckwini from Tulsa, Oklahoma USA on Friday, December 21, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Just received from IACBY and will be reading it as soon as I get the chance. I greatly look forward to it. 

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