Farewell 22 Jermyn Street (Eyrie Mansion)

I had just settled in my easy chair when a key turned in the lock and a nattily-dressed man in his 60s let himself in. He held a bottle of Teachers’ scotch under his arm. He walked to the sideboard, took a glass, poured a shot, and while filling it with soda from the siphon, asked me, “Fancy a spot?”

“I’m afraid I don’t drink,” I said.

“Oh, my.”

This man sat on my sofa, lit a cigarette, and said, “I’m Henry.”

“Am I…in your room?”

“Oh, no, no, old boy! I’m only the owner. I dropped in to say hello.”

This was Henry Togna Sr. He appears in a Dickens novel I haven’t yet read. I’m sure of it. He appeared in my room almost every afternoon when I stayed at the Eyrie Mansion.



“I Met a Character from Dickens”
Roger Ebert,

Chicago Sun-Times
, February 5, 2010




~ by eaesthete on 02/07/10.

3 Responses to “Farewell 22 Jermyn Street (Eyrie Mansion)”

  1. All too, too sad. What will replace all those lovely buildings? What could possibly be an improvement? Hard to believe that not a one is listed.

    • Having fallen in love with this place from afar (everyone always speaks of it with such tenderness), I share in the loss these many miles away. But then my heart has been broken repeatedly in the name of progress. So many neighborhoods that I once frequented and adored have inevitably come to ruin via a wrecking ball. If more imagination were evident, declining buildings and dilapidated structures could be restored to their former selves retaining the original authenticity, charm and history. Sad indeed.

  2. I adore the Bunny Rogers quote.

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