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Henrietta Llewelyn Davies
11-05-2011, 08:00 AM (This post was last modified: 13-05-2011 08:16 AM by ilovemichelle.)
Post: #1
Henrietta Llewelyn Davies
Henrietta Llewelyn Davies
5:57PM BST 10 May 2011
Henri Llewelyn Davies, as she was known, provided advice on anything from buying property and the stock market to plots of novels, plane journeys, contracts, interior design, jobs and personal relationships. As her website informed putative clients: “If you would like a telephone reading from her, you may ask questions about absolutely any area of your life — anything from, for example, 'What’s my Spiritual Path?’ or 'Tell me about my relationship’ (or work, or money) to 'small’ but vital things such as 'Should I change my car?’.”
“I open my mouth and things fly out,” she explained, though she saw herself as a counsellor as much as soothsayer: “I’ve always dealt mostly in emotional traumas. Everyone knows the world is in a state of flux. The divorce rate is 1.5 in 3”.
Justine Picardie, who consulted her when preparing her novel Daphne, based on the life of Daphne du Maurier (a relation of Henri’s), recalled that when she mentioned that her book would be published in May 2007, Henri Llewelyn Davies remarked matter-of-factly, “I don’t think so.” “Though I very much wanted her to be wrong, she turned out to be right,” Justine Picardie wrote.
Jeanette Winterson was an enthusiastic devotee, claiming that she never made an important decision without consulting Henri Llewelyn Davies first. The two women first met in 1987 when Jeanette Winterson wanted to draw up an astrological birth chart for a novel she was planning. “Henri said I wouldn’t write the novel, and she was right,” she recalled.
As she learned about astrology Jeanette Winterson became more and more amazed by her new friend’s powers of prediction: “Not long after we’d met, Henri said to me, 'You really should give up karate.’ I hadn’t even told her I went to karate classes, but I took no notice, and promptly dislocated my shoulder that night.”
When Miramax bought the film rights to one of her novels, Henri predicted they would never make the film; they never did. On another occasion she advised Jeanette Winterson not to buy a house she had set her heart on; later a farmer obtained planning permission for six properties in the neighbouring field and the people who had bought the house sold at a loss.
Henrietta Llewelyn Davies was born in London on September 12 1954, under the star sign Virgo, into an extraordinary family. Daphne du Maurier (whose short story Don’t Look Now revolves around the role of a psychic) was the first cousin of her grandfather, Jack Llewelyn Davies, one of the five “Lost Boys” adopted by JM Barrie who inspired him to write Peter Pan. Her great-grandmother, Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, was played by Kate Winslet in Finding Neverland, and Sylvia’s father, George du Maurier, was the author of Trilby, the novel that introduced Svengali into popular culture. A great-great grandfather was chaplain to Queen Victoria.
Henrietta’s mother – also named Sylvia – was a single parent. Her father was Tom Hopkinson, the editor of Picture Post who won notoriety and a place in the Guinness Book of Records as “Britain’s Most Married Man”: “He had seven wives and six children,” Henri recalled, “though he never married my mother. She came between numbers three and four.”
Sylvia supported herself and her daughter with a career in advertising (she came up with the slogan “Cheese, please, Louise’’). But Sylvia died of breast cancer when her daughter was 15 and Henri was sent to boarding school, which she hated. Holidays were spent at her grandmother’s house in Cornwall, where she met Daphne du Maurier.
Henri went on to study English Literature at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. After graduating she worked for the publishers Hamish Hamilton, but was fired from her job. Soon afterwards she found an out-of-print book on astrology by Louis MacNeice and discovered her “calling”.
She began travelling, learning about astrology in India. For years she wrote horoscope columns for Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Own, TV Times and other publications, while also offering private consultations. One of her best pieces of advice was to tell a woman not to buy a house in California; it burned down two weeks later following an earthquake.
She experienced a growing awareness of her own psychic powers: “I would often hear voices, very clearly, telling me what to say to a client about their particular circumstances. I found that I could use the birth chart as a basic tool... but that the most extraordinary advice was just coming through. Over and again, clients would tell me how right the advice had been. And I would suddenly know things I couldn’t know in normal life.”
While Henri Llewelyn Davies was prepared to give advice on almost anything, she would never predict illnesses, tragedies or death: “I am not given that information,” she explained. “I can warn, and I can see patterns, but the chart is not destiny, and the voices I hear always concentrate on the ray of hope.”
Henrietta Llewelyn Davies is survived by her partner, James Manning.
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