Duchess of Death: The Unauthorized Biography of Agatha Christie, caught my eye at the Discovery Green library a couple of weeks ago. I had never thought to think about her before, although I’ve read many of her mysteries.
Agatha Christie, once her first book was published in 1919, wrote like a woman possessed. She published over 80 novels, plus several more under a pen name and her autobiography to boot. During the second world war, she wrote through bombing raids. She wrote, encampted with her archaeologist husband, at dig sites in Syria and Persia. She broke her wrist and became an early customer of the Dictaphone company. The biography gave the impression that she wrote like a spigot stuck open, pouring forth a constant stream of sweet, refreshing murder and critically-acclaimed mayhem.
The unauthorized biographer, Richard Hack, claims to have corrected many errors Agatha Christie made in her autobiography – mainly items like exact dates, addresses of homes she owned, etc. He reviewed over 5,000 unpublished letters, notes, and documents while compiling his tome. I wonder if he actually read all of her novels, too? I thought he focused too extensively on her childhood, and was glad when he got to her life as an author.
Agatha loved to travel, and did so quite adventurously and extensively for a woman of her generation. She joined her second husband, Max Mallowan, at dig sites around the fertile crescent, living in tents and burning through stashes of typewriter ribbon.
Poirot and Miss Marple entertained me for hours during summers on Bear Island. The stories all run together in my mind now. I am eager to go back and re-read them knowing more about the author. Stay tuned.