** Shortlisted for the @CrimeFest H.R.F. Keating Award **
‘A smart and highly entertaining portrait of a literary powerhouse’
– THE TIMES BOOKS OF THE YEAR
‘A riveting portrait’
– GUARDIAN BOOKS OF THE YEAR
‘Christie lovers should read this biography for the same reason they read her novels.’ – The Times
‘A model of how to combine biographical information, analysis and literary criticism into a propulsive narrative’ – Daily Telegraph
‘Worsley’s book excels in bringing a broader historical perspective to Christie’s life and work, and her enthusiasm is infectious.’ – Observer
Ms Worsley herself writes engagingly… She combines an almost militant support for her subject with a considered analysis of her books and plays.’ – Economist
‘Nobody in the world was more inadequate to act the heroine than I was.’
Why did Agatha Christie spend her career pretending that she was ‘just’ an ordinary housewife, when clearly she wasn’t? As Lucy Worsley says, ‘She was thrillingly, scintillatingly modern’. She went surfing in Hawaii, she loved fast cars, and she was intrigued by the new science of psychology, which helped her through devastating mental illness.
So why – despite all the evidence to the contrary – did Agatha present herself as a retiring Edwardian lady of leisure?
She was born in 1890 into a world which had its own rules about what women could and couldn’t do. Lucy Worsley’s biography is not just of an internationally renowned bestselling writer. It’s also the story of a person who, despite the obstacles of class and gender, became an astonishingly successful working woman.
With access to personal letters and papers that have rarely been seen, Lucy Worsley’s biography is both authoritative and entertaining and makes us realise what an extraordinary pioneer Agatha Christie was – truly a woman who wrote the twentieth century.
Agatha Christie was a modernist, an iconoclast, and a groundbreaker, according to this excellent biography from historian Worsley. Worsley offers close readings of Christie's work and presents a careful reframe of the novelist's famous 1926 disappearance. Drawing on personal letters and modern criticism, Worsley manages to make her subject feel fresh and new. This is a must-read for Christie fans. * Publishers Weekly, (starred review) * One brilliant woman writing about another: an irresistible combination. * Antonia Fraser * This is a warm, intelligent book, which does justice , both to Agatha Christie's character, and to her distinctive genius as a writer of plays and novels. Someone once said that the greatest character Agatha Christie ever invented was Agatha Christie herself. If that's true, she was waiting for the perfect biographer to bring her back to life, and she has found her in Dr Lucy Worsley. * A.N. Wilson * Lucy Worsley brings Agatha Christie back to life, revealing a strong, pioneering, highly intelligent woman whose detective novels rank among the best ever written. Worsley shows us Christie's faults and flaws in the context of her time; she evokes her houses, clothes and the central mystery of her life in spritely sentences with a sharp ear for dialogue. Reading Worsley is as enjoyable as reading Christie herself. * Ruth Scurr * Lucy Worsley's biography of Agatha Christie is as unputdownable as any of the novels by the Queen of Crime herself. Gripping, revealing, and ultimately extremely moving, Agatha Christie is a wonderful tribute to one of the best-loved writers of the 20th century. * Amanda Foreman * Fascinating, seductive, incisive, this beautiful exploration into Christie, her life and times, is full of unique insight, eye opening detail, sharp analysis. Lucy Worsley is a brilliant detective into the letters, the emotion, the drive of Christie, the ambition. Gripping. * Kate Williams * 'In the best biography of Agatha Christie ever written, Lucy Worsley gets to the soul - the complex, troubled, but big soul - of our greatest whodunnit writer with laser-like precision. There will not now need to be another biography of the queen of the detective story written for decades.' * Andrew Roberts, author of 'Napoleon the Great' and 'Churchill: Walking with Destiny' * 'Gosh this is BRILLIANT. Read it at one sitting. It's frothy and fast and properly, subtly, furious.' * Annie Gray * 'Reading Lucy Worsley's biography is like sharing Agatha Christie's favourite drink: cream. Rich, hearty and extremely satisfying, this book fills the void and, more than that, shows us with much brio and charm why Christie remains a writer for our times' * Dr Daisy Dunn, author of Not Far From Brideshead * Lucy Worsley is simply unparalleled as a biographer who couples historical insight with riveting storytelling. She proves it once again by capturing the life of the elusive Agatha Christie in a book so full of sensitive interpretations and surprising revelations that you won't want to put it down. * Devoney Looser *
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