Melanie Backe-Hansen works for Chesterton’s estate agents as a house historian. She’s the first and only one, and has the remit of researching the history of properties on the agency’s books with a view to boosting the house’s appeal to buyers. She consults “maps, census records, parish rate books, land tax records, electoral registers, trade directories, local history books, old newspapers, and if I’m really lucky I might find deeds or leases, as well as additional records in the National Archives.” She also describes a property in Portman Square, London, that was the site of spy meetings in WWII and Vera Atkins, who is said to be the inspiration for Bond’s Miss Moneypenny worked in the building.
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Hat tip to: LDN