Agatha Christie: An Elusive Woman

Agatha Christie: An Elusive Woman

by Lucy Worsley
Agatha Christie: An Elusive Woman

Agatha Christie: An Elusive Woman

by Lucy Worsley


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A new, fascinating account of the life of Agatha Christie from celebrated literary and cultural historian Lucy Worsley.

"Nobody in the world was more inadequate to act the heroine than I was."

Why did Agatha Christie spend her career pretending that she was “just” an ordinary housewife, when clearly she wasn’t? Her life is fascinating for its mysteries and its passions and, as Lucy Worsley says, "She was thrillingly, scintillatingly modern." She went surfing in Hawaii, she loved fast cars, and she was intrigued by the new science of psychology, which helped her through devastating mental illness.

So why—despite all the evidence to the contrary—did Agatha present herself as a retiring Edwardian lady of leisure?

She was born in 1890 into a world that had its own rules about what women could and couldn’t do. Lucy Worsley’s biography is not just of a massively, internationally successful writer. It's also the story of a person who, despite the obstacles of class and gender, became an astonishingly successful working woman.

With access to personal letters and papers that have rarely been seen, Lucy Worsley’s biography is both authoritative and entertaining and makes us realize what an extraordinary pioneer Agatha Christie was—truly a woman who wrote the twentieth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781639362523
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 09/06/2022
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 12,150
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.30(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Lucy Worsley OBE is Chief Curator at the charity Historic Royal Palaces. She also presents history documentaries for the BBC. Her bestselling books include Queen Victoria; Jane Austen at Home; The Art of the English Murder; and If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home. In 2019, her BBC One program Suffragettes with Lucy Worsley won a BAFTA. She lives in England.

Table of Contents

Preface: Hiding in Plain Sight xiii

Part 1 Victorian Girl - 1890s

1 The House Where I Was Born 3

2 Insanity in the Family 8

3 The Thing in the House 13

4 Ruined 20

Part 2 Edwardian Debutante - 1900s

5 Waiting for The Man 29

6 Best Victorian Lavatory 33

7 The Gezireh Palace Hotel 36

8 Enter Archibald 42

Part 3 Wartime Nurse - 1914-18

9 Torquay Town Hall 51

10 Love and Death 60

11 Enter Poirot 67

12 The Moorland Hotel 73

Part 4 Bright Young Author - 1920s

13 Enter London 79

14 Enter Rosalind 84

15 The British Mission 88

16 Thrillers 95

Part 5 1926

17 Sunningdale 107

18 The Mysterious Affair at Styles 114

19 Disappearance 123

20 The Harrogate Hydropathic Hotel 134

21 Reappearance 156

Part 6 Plutocratic Period - 1930s

22 Mesopotamia 173

23 Enter Max 182

24 I Think I Will Marry You 188

25 Eight Houses 197

26 The Golden Age 210

Part 7 Wartime Worker - 1940s

27 Beneath the Bombs 221

28 A Daughter's a Daughter 232

29 Life Is Rather Complicated 243

30 By Mary Westmacott 253

Part 8 Taken at the Flood - 1950s

31 A Big Expensive Dream 263

32 They Came to Baghdad 270

33 Christie-Land after the War 280

34 Second Row in the Stalls 289

35 A Charming Grandmother 297

Part 9 Not Swinging - 1960s

36 The Mystery of the Christie Fortune 305

37 A Queer Lot 315

38 Lady Detectives 324

39 To Know When to Go 330

Part 10 Curtain - 1970s

40 Winterbrook 337

41 After the Funeral 348

Sources 357

Acknowledgements 365

Notes 367

Index 399

Picture Acknowledgements 415

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