Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Window into a vanished world

I've written before about how I re-read Agatha Christie's autobiography at least once a year, fascinated by the courtly charm of her life in turn-of-the-century England.

Now people can actually tour her country home, Greenway. Christie did not write in the home, although several of her books are based there. And in "Agatha," the autobiography, she also talks about how the house was requisitioned for use by the army during World War II. She kept the mural they painted, but not the 14 latrines they added.

For me, the story about the tours was equally interesting for how it updated me on her family. Her grandson, Mathew Prichard, is still alive and involved in the tours. (He's memorably recounted in the book talking to himself as he learns to walk down stairs, saying "Here is Mathew. Here is Mathew going down stairs.") Sadly, her daughter Rosalind died a few years ago, as did Rosalind's second husband (the first, Mathew's father, died in World War II). It was good to know that Rosalind had remarried, and had a pretty long life, as did her mother.

1 comment:

Cora said...

See if you can find Andrew Norman's Agatha Christie: the Finished Portrait. It an authentic biography, instead of the very bowdlerized one that Janet Morgan did in 1984. I've read Agatha's autobiography several times over; and I get frustrated when she talks for half the book about her childhood and then almost nothing after her marriage to Max besides "Oh I bought this house and then I bought that house" etc. It's a genuinely good biography and a surprisingly quick read.