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?
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?