Yan Christensen

It is with great sadness that we have to report the recent death of Yan Christensen [seen left with bookseller Richard Frost]. Those of you who are regular attendees of the yearly festival will have known her personally or at least recognized her; she was always seated in the front row.

But Yan’s connections with the Birthplace Trust extended beyond her attendance at the festival, her detailed knowledge of the writer, her extensive personal collection of his works. Yan was also a Trustee for many years and once directed the festival, in 2011. She also skilfully edited A Sort of Newsletter for ten years and the currency this much respected quarterly carries to this day is due in no small part to her pioneering work in the first decade of this century.

I owe Yan a personal debt of gratitude. When I took over the job of Membership Secretary from her she painstakingly explained the minutiae of what turned out to be a deceptively complex and sometimes delicate task. But, most of all, Yan had a truly engaging character. She was often wickedly funny and sociable behind a somewhat stern persona.

Her cremation takes place later this week when there will be the opportunity to say farewell to one of the longest-serving and highly regarded members of the Graham Greene Berkhamsted fraternity.


Jon Wise