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.
In citing physical features such as rivers and hills and man-made parts such as shops and roads in delving into the widening circles of town, etc., Macaskill notes these as they appeared in different Christie mysteries. Even when names or some details have been changed for the sake of fictionalizing them, they are nonetheless apparent; for despite her bottomless imagination and numerous mystery novels, Christie never did stray far from the ideas and materials she found at Greenway and its environs.
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] will have special appeal not only to Christie fans but also to gardeners. The author is a journalist and travel writer. This book offers rare insight into the private world of Christie (1890-1976) and the places she loved the most. Long after her death, she remains one of the best selling authors.
In this remarkable book, the author presents the story of each property and the role it played in Christie’s life. She also chronicles the books and other works that Christie completed in those places. Throughout this title, Macaskill points out special locations that were featured in the books.
This book allows readers to learn all about the daily life in these houses. The author presents details on all aspects of the households, including the servants and staff. The author explains how Christie took a hands-on approach to her homes, gardens, and households. Throughout the book, readers can see how these contributions of Christie can still be seen today.
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. From Bella on Line
About the Author
HILARY MACASKILL is a journalist and travel writer. She lives in London. MATTHEW PRICHARD is the grandson of Agatha Christie, and now is the Chairman of Agatha Christie Ltd. He spent many happy summers at Greenway and now lives at Pwllywrach in Glamorgan, which is also the home of the Agatha Christie archive.