The Grand Tour: Around the World with the Queen of Mystery [NOOK Book]


In 1922 Agatha Christie set sail on a ten-month voyage around the world. Her husband, Archibald Christie, had been invited to join a trade mission to promote the British Empire Exhibition, and Christie was determined to go with him. It was a life-changing decision for the young novelist, a true voyage of discovery that would inspire her future writing for years to come.

Placing her two-year-old daughter in the care of her sister, Christie set sail at the end of January and did ...

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The Grand Tour: Around the World with the Queen of Mystery

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In 1922 Agatha Christie set sail on a ten-month voyage around the world. Her husband, Archibald Christie, had been invited to join a trade mission to promote the British Empire Exhibition, and Christie was determined to go with him. It was a life-changing decision for the young novelist, a true voyage of discovery that would inspire her future writing for years to come.

Placing her two-year-old daughter in the care of her sister, Christie set sail at the end of January and did not return home until December. Throughout her journey, she kept up a detailed weekly correspondence with her mother, describing the exotic places and the remarkable people she encountered as the mission traveled through South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Canada. Reproduced here for the first time, the letters are full of tales of seasickness and sunburn, motor trips and surfboarding, glamor and misery. The Grand Tour also brings to life the places and people Christie encountered through the photos she took on her portable camera, as well as some of the original postcards, newspaper cuttings, and memorabilia she collected on her trip.

Edited and introduced by Agatha Christie's grandson, Mathew Prichard, and accompanied by reminiscences from her own autobiography, this unique travelogue reveals a new adventurous side to Agatha Christie, one that would ultimately influence the stories that made her a household name.

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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post - Maureen Corrigan
No murders. That's the one complaint Agatha Christie fans may make about The Grand Tour, an otherwise marvelous compendium of never-before-published letters, autobiographical excerpts and black-and-white photographs generated by Christie and her first husband, Archie, during the round-the-world tour they took in 1922. Eccentric characters abound (mustachioed majors! suspiciously solicitous servants!), as do lavish locales (ocean liners! grand hotels!). Indeed, the only thing missing from this real-life Christie adventure is the corpse in the dining car, the body in the ballroom…The Grand Tour is not only illuminating but genuinely entertaining…this hodgepodge volume conjures up something we Christie readers have never quite seen before: a vivid impression of the young Agatha.
Library Journal
This first published collection of Christie’s correspondence will delight the many fans of her novels. Edited by Christie’s grandson, Prichard, the book chronicles what Christie herself considered one of the most exciting times of her life: a 1922 round-the-world trip promoting the 1925 British Empire Exhibition. Her husband, Archibald, served as financial advisor, and the couple sailed from England through Gibraltar, southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Canada. The trip is documented in this series of letters to family and accompanying photographs. The enthusiastic Christie can’t help but create interesting characters out of her fellow travelers and resident British colonists, and the result is a very good read. (Who would have expected she was hooked on surfing?) This book is also a fascinating look at the British empire in the 1920s. Despite the saggy woolen clothes and oppressive heat, these colonies still inspired certain expectations in their British visitors: proper tea and people of one’s own kind.

Verdict Not only a contribution to biographical studies of Christie, this book is recommended for all mystery lovers, Anglophiles, and fans of historical travel narratives.—Melissa Stearns, Franklin Pierce Univ. Lib., Rindge, NH(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Reviews
A collection of the mystery writer's 1922 British Empire Tour correspondence. For editor Prichard, Agatha Christie's grandson, this book is treasured memorabilia. For Christie fans, these letters and photographs will be a delightful addition to the author's oeuvre. Essentially a marketing ploy, the tour, sponsored by the British Empire Exhibition Mission, had four goals: "to produce new sources of wealth by exploiting the raw materials of the Empire; to foster inter-Imperial trade; to open new world markets for Dominican and British products; and to encourage interaction between different cultures and people of the Empire.…" With her husband and other participants, the 32-year-old author traveled to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Canada over the course of 10 months. The letters between Christie and her mother showcase the author's innate storytelling ability and insights on life following World War I. "From a historical point of view the account of the Grand Tour, both literary and photographic, is a remarkable snapshot of life in the 1920s, nostalgic and curious," writes the editor. What emerges is a portrait of a spontaneous, direct woman engaged in the changing environment around her. In Honolulu, Christie surfed; in South Africa, she toured vineyards and tasted the wine; and she fell in love with New Zealand. Christie's letters are complemented by the abundant photos. A magical tour back to a time before telephone and instant forms of communication. Narrated by a woman who went on to become the most widely published author of all time, this volume should delight both Christie fans and history buffs.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062191243
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/20/2012
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 182,856
  • File size: 26 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in a hundred foreign languages. She died in 1976. Sophie Hannah is the internationally bestselling author of nine psychological thrillers, which have been published in more than 20 countries and adapted for television. Sophie is an Honorary Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, and as a poet has been shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize.


Agatha Christie is the world's best-known mystery writer. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language, and another billion in 44 foreign languages. She is the most widely published author of all time in any language, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her writing career spanned more than half a century, during which she wrote 79 novels and a short story collection, as well as 14 plays, one of which, The Mousetrap, is the longest running play in history. Two of the characters she created, the brilliant Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and the irrepressible and relentless Miss Marple, went on to become world famous detectives. Both have been widely dramatized in feature films and made-for-TV movies. Agatha Christie died in 1976.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Mary Westmacott (used for her romantic fiction)
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 15, 1890
    2. Place of Birth:
      Torquay, Devon, England
    1. Date of Death:
      January 12, 1976

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Preface 11

Setting Off 19

South Africa 45

Australia 131

New Zealand 231

Honolulu 261

Canada 309

The Journey Home 353

Epilogue 361

Chronology 365

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2013

    need to be an english historian

    Because this book details Agatha Christies adventure in the early 1900's, and the writing is from English culture, it is hard to comprehend most of what she is saying/talking about. I found myself skimming through most of it, understanding very little of what she was commenting about. Dull read for me

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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