Agatha Christie: An Elusive Woman

Pegasus Crime. Sept. 2022. 432p. ISBN 9781639362523. $29.95. LIT
Who was the real Agatha Christie? While hugely prolific and successful—she is considered to be one of the world’s most-read authors—Christie would often describe herself as a housewife. British historian and BBC presenter Worsley (Jane Austen at Home), in this careful consideration of Christie’s life, argues that few truly knew her. Born into a privileged family that later fell into straitened circumstances, Christie was a true product of her social class. However, Worsley argues, the expected trajectory of Christie’s life was disrupted several times—by World War I; by a job in a pharmacy (which informed the novelist’s encyclopedic knowledge of poisons); and by an impulsive marriage to war hero Archie Christie—culminating in Agatha’s 10-day disappearance in 1926. In the ensuing media storm, speculation regarding her motives—much of it salacious—was rife. Worsley provides a welcome and objective addition to the Christie record; her conscientious examination of previous Christie studies, especially regarding the events of 1926, reveals much of the earlier reporting to have been inaccurate and unfair. Worsley argues that the real Christie is in the text.
VERDICT Worsley’s thoughtful and generous contribution to the Christie biographical canon will be welcomed and enjoyed by Agatha Christie fans.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing