The Duchess and the DuTchess

Why are you called “The Dutchess of Orange”?

That’s a question I’ve been getting a lot lately – so here’s part 1 of the answer :).

In 1970 a New York’ writer called Helene Hanff wrote a wonderful book called “84 Charing Cross Road”. And although it was loved by only a relatively small amount of people, they loved it so wildly and passionately, it quickly became a cult book. And I am proud to be part of the cult.

In the book you’ll find the letters Helene exchanged over a period of 20 years with a London bookshop on Charing Cross Road, ending with the dead of her – by then – dear friend and book supplier Frank Doel. The book is enchanting, sweet, warm and so beautifully written I never get tired of it.
Helene 1And luckily for me the end of the book wasn’t the end of the story. Because in 1971, Helene finally had enough money – and courage – to visit London, the city she had longed to see for so long. And about that adventure she wrote a second book, called “The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street”.

And I can honestly say I could read that book every day for the rest of my life and never be bored by it.
Helene 2The stories she tells and the compelling way in which she tells them go straight to my heart. Some of her (other) books I have read more often than others, but I know phrases from all books by heart.

My favorite is the Duchess of Bloomsbury Street. In Helene’s own words another long title that no one ever would ever get right (it’s a quote from the book, but it was her publishers idea to use it as the title). Being called Kim Philips van Buren – I know the feeling :).
Helene 3
And because of this, I am called the Dutchess:

  • To honor Helene Hanff
  • To try sharing my life, my thoughts and my dreams like she did (simple, warm, funny and sweet)
  • To remind myself to never stop enjoying and playing
  • And to remind myself to not take my life – and my business – so seriously
  • (O, and my studio ate the fort is the Dutchess castle)P1020940b
  • (and yes, the spelling is wrong: the extra “T” means I’m DuTch :)

So, that explains the DuTchess part – but what about the color “ORANGE”, and who is that mysterious Mr. Orange?

I’ll tell you about that later!
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  1. […] (And why I am called the Dutchess of Orange, and not the Duchess (or the queen, or…….) you can find HERE.) […]

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