Book Review: Agatha Christie at Home

Blog page

What an incredibly fascinating woman! I am so thankful to have been asked to review Agatha Christie at Home for the Literary Hoarders site. Thank you so very much to Lisa Trudeau at Quayside Distribution Services / Aurum Publishing Group for sending this my way!

Hilary Macaskill has written a wonderful book and given us a very thorough look into her life – all so very fascinating! The book centres on her most beloved home, Greenway on the river Dart in Devon and her childhood home, Ashfield. The National Trust now owns Greenway and has opened it to the public in 2009.  There are a great number of pictures of Agatha’s life and many of her most beloved home, Greenway. Agatha Christie was quite the trailblazer as she was a woman that purchased homes using her own money, something that was not the norm at that time. She considered her novels as a way of generating money to feed her passion. She was passionate about buying, decorating and renovating her many homes and showed great talent in interior design.

Greenway  christie painting  untitled (3)

(Pictures are some that are featured in Agatha Christie at Home.)

Agatha Christie at Home is well organized and shows how the places, people, homes and experiences all featured prominently in her novels. It s obviously written with great respect, but was so very compelling! There was great information about her fictional character Hercule Poirot. He was the very first character created for her mystery novels and appeared in The Mysterious Affair at Styles. He became a character she grew increasingly frustrated with, but one that received his own postage stamp and an obituary in the New York Times when the book containing his last case, Curtains was published!

She is the most translated individual author in the world (103 languages), and comes in second only to the Bible (translated into 171 languages). On her death the lights in two theatres in London were dimmed in her honour. The final chapter of Agatha Christie at home describes her continuously growing popularity and especially of the love and commitment to her memory by her family. Her daughter Rosalind kept tight control over the productions of her novels that were made into TV and film adaptations. But it was Greenway, the place where her personal legacy is preserved that was both a painful and celebrated decision to sell to the National Trust and open to the public. As her grandson Matthew is quoted in the book as saying,

“What I wish most for Greenway is that people who visit it feel some of the magic and sense of place that I felt when my family and I spent so much time there in the 1950s and 1960s.”

And in the words of Hilary Macaskill, “The work of Agatha Christie has entertained and even brought comfort to millions of readers. Now at Greenway her followers can gain further insight into Devon, the place that brought her happiness and inspiration, as well as the home that was so important to her and the vibrant, energetic and exuberant personality of this most private of individuals, the Queen of Crime.”

agatha-writing-desk  agatha (First image also from Agatha Christie at Home and shows her sitting at her writing desk at Greenway.) (Second image is one I just love – again, wouldn’t it be grand to have her as your Granny?)

Agatha Christie at Home is now a cherished addition to my library. It was a wonderful read and my love for Agatha Christie grew significantly after reading of her life.

In addition to reading Agatha Christie at Home by Hilary Macaskill, Acorn Media has announced some pretty darn exciting news concerning new adaptations to her works for her 125th Celebration Year:

Acorn Productions Ltd announces that BBC1 has commissioned two significant new drama adaptations to bring Agatha Christie masterpieces to a new generation:

A new adaptation of And Then There Were None, Christie’s most successful work and one of the best-selling crime novels of all time, will be written by Sarah Phelps (Great Expectations, BBC; Oliver Twist, BBC) produced by Mammoth Screen (Parade’s End, Blandings, BBC; Endeavour, ITV) in partnership with Acorn Productions and is slated for broadcast at Christmas 2015.

   Meanwhile, crime-fighting duo Tommy and Tuppence will return to our screens in a 1950s-set six-part adventure thriller series called Partners in Crime, starring David Walliams as Tommy. This brand new adaptation will be produced by Endor Productions (The Escape Artist; Restless; State of Play; The Girl in the Café, BBC) in partnership with Acorn Productions and the first three episodes (TX autumn 2015) will be written by award-winning author, playwright and director Zinnie Harris.

Initiatives include a recently announced feature film (a star-studded re-make of Murder on the Orient Express from Fox produced by Ridley Scott, Mark Gordon and Simon Kinberg); Hidden Object tablet games, such as the 2013 release of Dead Man’s Folly that has seen some 200,000 downloads in the first few weeks of release and an average rating of 4.5 stars; and forthcoming announcements for West End theatre. 

Mathew Prichard, Chairman of Agatha Christie Limited and grandson of Agatha Christie said: “It is fantastic that, in her all-important 125th anniversary year, my grandmother is to be welcomed with such enthusiasm to the BBC: a wonderful new home for her much-loved characters and their stories, and one which she would be delighted with. The commitment to these productions from all those involved is great to see, and I’ve no doubt will result in compelling new adaptations, to be enjoyed by fans old and new.”