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Agatha Christie at Home Hardcover – September 22, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln (September 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0711230293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711230293
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 10.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The color photographs on nearly every page (80 of the total of 110 photos) are pleasing photos of Devon known for its Mediterranean-like climate. That they are connected with the popular author Agatha Christie adds immeasurable interest to them however. Devotees of her mysteries will enjoy matching photos to aspects of the books with author Macaskill's help as a guide. Readers interested in literature and writing find a window onto the connection between biography--and with Christie particularly, place--and an author's books. The photographs range from panoramas to nature scenes to shops and train depots and such to interiors of Greenway, now a public site under the direction of England's National Trust."— Publishers Bookshelf

"This book follows the history of Greenway after Christie’s death. In 2000 Christie’s heirs donated it to the National Trust, which began an extensive restoration. Now the property is open to the public and has already become a popular destination." — Bella on Line

About the Author

Hilary Macaskill is a journalist and travel writer. She was formerly a publisher, a publicity manager for publishing companies and a lecturer in journalism at City University. She lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

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It has been a great pleasure to read "Agatha Christie at Home" by Hilary Macaskill.
James D. Hobbs
It is full of information about the author's life and the pictures are very beautiful.
JMC
Highly recommended for anyone wanting a better sense of the woman behind the books.
G.M. Malliet

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By James D. Hobbs on September 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
It has been a great pleasure to read "Agatha Christie at Home" by Hilary Macaskill. Many books focus on Agatha's writings, but very few that tell us how she lived. Ms. Macaskill gives us a different Agatha Clarissa Miller than we're used to. We see Agatha not as an author, but the lover of homes, comfort, her country, and her family. Ms. Macaskill accomplishes this with great success! Ms. Macaskill received invaluable assistance from Agatha's grandson, Mathew Prichard, and she interviewed others who knew Agatha and her family.

The book is organized in a logical manner, first starting with an overview of Agatha's life and career. Ms. Macaskill's research is thorough and she presents us new information. She reveals such facts as Agatha making her own mayonnaise and how she planned her next book's plot. However, this is not a biography--it is a tour of Agatha's homes and of the country that she loved so much.

The author takes us on a journey through Agatha's various residences and their influence on her. We visit twelve homes (before WWII, she owned eight of them!), plus a few more whilst she lived in the Middle East. With careful detail, we learn about her love of houses--from her doll houses of her childhood to her favorite--Greenway on the River Dart in Devon. Agatha had always loved houses we learn; says she: "I have gone over innumerable houses, furnished houses, decorated houses, made structural alterations to houses. Houses! God bless houses!"

The main focus of the book, however, is how her homes and the home county of Devon affected her as a person as well as a mystery writer. There is a direct tie between her homes and the settings of her books.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By allanbecker-gardenguru on September 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Agatha Christie at Home by Hilary Macaskell
Frances Lincoln, Publisher
ISBN 978-0-7112-3029-3

I was expecting a coffee table book but what I got instead was a lovely companion to her writings. By her, I refer to Agatha Christie who, along with Shakespeare, is the best selling fiction writer of all times. The book chronicles her life from childhood until her death in 1976. It is an enjoyable excursion through some of her homes and into the beautiful country side where she grew up and spent her leisure time as an accomplished writer.

The publication focuses on the importance of dwellings to the private Agatha Christie who owned eight houses, all of which were used as settings for her work.
This is not a biography of a celebrity author. It is instead a "documentary" about where this author lived and the influences these locations had upon her writings. Of all of her properties, Greenway was the most important home, purchased in 1938 on 300 acres in Devon, on the southwest coast of England. In the early years of ownership, it was her primary residence and later became her summer refuge, a place to enjoy with family and friends
.
Essentially, this book demonstrates how personal place played a paramount role in the life and writing of this famous mystery author. Beyond her love of her homes, there are links between her home county and her works. The villages, homes and the people who inhabited them supplied plots and backdrops for her stories. Furthermore, we learn that the ingenious plotting of her mysteries was the result of her love of mathematics and problem solving.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Henry Berry on September 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
AGATHA CHRISTIE AT HOME by Hilary Macaskill. Frances Lincoln Limited, London; [...]. 2009. 144 pages. $40.00 hardcover, 10" x 10", ISBN 978-0-7112-3029-3. color/black-and-white photographs, bibliography, index.

The top best-selling author of all time (rivaling Shakespeare), Agatha Christie (1890-1976) had as many as eight homes at one time. Some were in London, and one was in Baghdad. Her favorite however--the one she felt was her true home for her and her husband, gave her the most inspiration, and is most associated with her mysteries--was Greenway in the county of Devon. A series of previous homes beginning with her childhood home and including rentals and changing homes as her career grew leads up to the stately Greenway. Though not a grand English estate which Christie could have lived in, Greenway was a small mansion. The presence of servants seemed natural; and Christie furnished and decorated the home with all types of Victorian objects. Her sensibility was always more Victorian than modern. She called one modernist building where she rented an apartment at one time "an ocean liner."

Though Greenway was the center of Christie's life, sensibilities, and ideas for her mysteries, this was so because it was situated in the midst of a traditionally English country environment (which to a large degree survives today). The book is organized so circles of this are seen as both extending from and enclosing Greenway. Each circle of the larger surrounding environment--town, county, parish--is perused as if enriching the atmosphere of Greenway--thus casting a light into the sources of Christie's works and her particular creativity.
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