Sunday, July 10, 2011

Henri Llewelyn Davies: 'It was I who brought her to "Death" Rowe and Woman's Own'

Psychic astrologer
 Henri Llewelyn Davies
My recent piece on the untimely death of pychic astrologer Henrietta ('Henri') Llewelyn Davies at 56 drew this letter from a former colleague of hers....

Dear Madame,

I hope you don't mind me e-mailing you.

By pure chance (fate?) today, I came across the news of the death of Henri [Llewelyn Davies] on your web-page. I am so shocked and saddened; I didn't know. Please could you tell me how she died?

I knew Henri very well in the early Eighties -- contrary to what your blogger 'Liz' has to say, it was I who took her to Woman's Own.

It seems you knew her well, so you might also know of her time at Look Now magazine. This is where I met her -- she was a good friend of the then-features editor, Adele-Marie Cherreson, and I joined as a junior, working my way through the features dept to become Deputy Editor. We became good friends, and when I found myself working for Bridget 'Death' Rowe as Assistant Editor at Woman's Own (!), I suggested Henri as the new astrologer. Bridget R wasn't easily convinced, but I think she was interested in trying something different, which Henri certainly was, and so it began.

I later went to TVTimes, and, of course, took Henri with me. When I left, Henri stayed on and we kept in touch for a couple of years: she came to my wedding, and I keep an astrological chart and reading she wrote on the birth of my son 18 years ago, scribbled in her unmistakably spidery handwriting! She came out to visit me here in St Albans, but said she felt twitchy leaving the city. Reading her quotes in her obit tonight, I can hear her voice in my head so clearly...Life went on and we probably last spoke about eight years ago, when I began writing a novel on life after death.

Sorry for the unloading, I'm sure you appreciate how I feel. If you could find a moment to tell me what happened to Henri, I would be extremely grateful.

With all best wishes

Doretta Sarris Hogan

Dear Doretta

Thank you for your letter. Henri told me that before she was hired at Woman's Own, 'Death' Rowe took her out to lunch - perhaps to Joe Allen's though I can't be certain. Bridget was perfectly fine and chatty until she rose at the end and suddenly gave Henri a bizarre look as if to remind her who was in charge. The bipolar-ish change in countenance from friendly to hostile was intimidatory. It might not have helped that during lunch, Henri told the editor that her journalistic career would end in her late forties. This proved correct.

Henri died of a brain tumour after treatment for lung cancer. Here is her Telegraph obit.

Best wishes



Liz said...

from your blogger Liz:

Doretta has put the record straight; let me put it straighter.
It may have been Doretta who got Bridget Rowe to sign Henri up as official astrologer but I was responsible for introducing her to Woman's Own (or was it Woman?) before she was even a magazine astrologer.

Maybe it was Woman. It was so long ago that I've forgotten which but I may well have got the wrong mag.

What happened was that I met her at a party given by the alternative healer Matthew Manning and she told me she would like to get into magazine astrology. I mentioned this to my then editor at Woman's Own (or Woman) and we did a series together, including with her then husband, with whom she was in psychic partnership. It was very successful and then Henri took off on her own.

Doretta said...

Hi Liz,
I ommitted to mention that when I met Henri at Look Now, she was already writing an astrology column there - so perhaps you met her even before then?! What a shame she has gone -- but she is not forgotten.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm devastated to find out about Henri - much later than everyone else it seems! I lost touch with her a couple of years ago after a long catch up call and invitation to stay with my family in Gloucestershire. I even sent her a birthday card last September! It was only when my husband Jim mentioned her that I thought I'd google Henri to find out how to get in touch again. How sad. What a remarkable woman. By the way, it was Shirley Saphir, former Art Director of Look Now and Art Editor of Woman at the time who introduced me to her. I still have the charts she did for me and my family. She always said my father would have a long life. How strange that at 87 years old he has outlived her.
Adele Cherreson Cole.

Madame Arcati said...

Thank you Adele - I'm sorry you found out late.