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Fan Mail

I am more than a little smitten with the story that Abbey National Bank, which acquired the address 221B Baker Street, hired a secretary for many decades whose sole purpose was to answer fan mail addressed to Sherlock Holmes.  Mental Floss writes,

Rather than simply throw away mail addressed to a fictional character, the bank decided to hire someone to answer Holmes’s mail—as his secretary. Until Abbey National moved its headquarters in the 2000s, the bank continuously employed a series of secretaries to respond to fans, letting them know that Holmes had retired to the countryside to raise bees, or even replying occasionally as Holmes himself, using quotes from Doyle’s books.

Isn’t that brilliant?

Sherlock Holmes

Image: David Jones via Flickr

Fan mail is now answered by the Sherlock Holmes Museum, which isn’t as good a story.

Which makes me wonder whether other fictional characters get fan mail.  What happens if you mail a letter to 4 Privet Drive?  I’m assuming it ends up here, but does anyone answer it?  Can you write Leopold Bloom at 7 Eccles Street or Phileas Fogg at 7 Savile Row?  Will I reach the Steadmans if I write to 1710 Bryn Mawr Avenue, Philadelphia, PA?

It sort of wouldn’t matter to me if it was just a secretary writing me as long as I got a letter back.

Which fictional character would you want to write?


1 loribeth { 04.03.16 at 8:45 am }

I can’t think of anything offhand, but your post reminded me that that Canada Post has a team of people that answers letters to Santa. They even gave him his own postal code. 😉 The address is Santa Claus, North Pole, HOH OHO. 😉 In a lot of towns’ Santa Claus Parades, Canada Post workers will collect letters to Santa from the children along the route.


2 Lori Lavender Luz { 04.03.16 at 10:16 am }

Is that a thirtysomething reference? Love it! In googling I found Hope’s and Michael’s floor plan. http://www.thirdstory.com/thirtysomething/misc/homeplan.htm

3 Nerfmobile { 04.03.16 at 12:27 pm }

110A Piccadilly, London. Lord Peter Wimsey!

4 illustr8d { 04.03.16 at 12:58 pm }
5 Middle Girl { 04.03.16 at 2:30 pm }

1164 Morning Glory Circle, Samantha Stevens, aka Bewitched. 🙂

Such a cool story. And a cool thing for that bank to do.

6 Jess { 04.03.16 at 7:11 pm }

That is such an awesome story. I love when people choose to do the interesting thing, the nice thing in those circumstances.

I think I’d write to Anne of Green Gables, but I don’t know her current address other than Prince Edward Island, right? I wonder if getting a letter might be disappointing though, that the thoughts I think she might share in my head are better left up there, if that makes any sense at all.

7 md { 04.04.16 at 12:37 am }

lovely story. and lovely job too, to be answering these fan letters -i think i would enjoy doing that 😛

8 Lavonne @ *Our Wish* { 04.04.16 at 8:16 am }

The real question is does mail get answered sent to P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney?? LOL

9 Justine { 04.04.16 at 11:04 pm }

What fun!

I’d write to Hermione. But then maybe also to T.S. Garp, because I just finished (finally) _The World According to Garp_, and I think he shares my bleak sense of humor. 🙂

10 Kasey { 04.06.16 at 11:31 am }

I love this.
I’m now going to spend the day contemplating who I would write to. I know that letters sent to Santa Claus, Indiana (nearish where I grew up) get answered by “elves”.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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