Monday, 15 September 2008

Agatha Christie Revealed

Agatha Christie was born on September 15, 1890, in Torquy, Devon. She has been called — by the Guinness Book of World Records, among others — the best-selling writer of all time. Only the Bible is known to have outsold her collected sales of roughly four billion copies of novels. UNESCO states that she is currently the most translated individual author in the world with only the collective corporate works of Walt Disney Productions surpassing her. Christie's books have been translated into (at least) 56 languages.

Previously undiscovered self-made recordings were announced today, by the BBC. The reels of tape, over 13 hours long, were discovered by the author's grandson in a cardboard box during a spring clean-out at Christie's former home in Torquay.

Only a handful of recordings of her voice are known to exist - including a 1955 interview for the BBC and a 1974 recording for the Imperial War Museum Sound Archive in which she recounts her experiences in a World War I dispensary which gave her a working knowledge of poisons - something which would feed into her murder mysteries.

Today is the start of the Agatha Christie festival, an annual celebration of the life, work and cultural legacy of Torbay's most famous daughter. It was in Torquay, Devon that Agatha Christie's career as a writer of murder mystery began to take shape, and she was to return to South Devon in later life to establish a holiday home at Greenway. Today, September 15th, vistors can attend an illustrated talk by John Risdon of the girl who grew up to become the world’s greatest crime writer. It is about the child, the teenager, the young married mother, the successful author, the recluse, and the wealth of characteristics and experiences that moulded a woman by the name of Agatha Christie.

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Agatha Christie - Literary Daughter of South Devon
Date:15 September
Time: 6.30pm
Venue: Paignton Library
Tickets: £1 available from Paignton Library.

On Friday, there is a further event: The Life and Works of Agatha Christie - an illustrated talk by Frank Turner

Date: 18 September
Time: 7.15pm
Venuw: Brixham Library
Tickets: £1.00, available from Brixham Library.

Frank Turner, a local Blue Badge Guide, gives a rare insight into the life of Agatha Christie and her numerous connections to Torbay and area, which she loved dearly.

2 comments:

Paul said...

Although I've got hooked into reading a few Agatha Christie's in the past, I find my abiding interest these days is in her as a person. I'd like to know more about her, and may have to seek out a biography. Nice article, Jen. Thanks.

the Amateur Book Blogger said...

She had indeed a fascinating life, even disappearing at one time and checking herself into a hotel under a false name so she could not be immediately found by her next of kin.