Saturday, January 23, 2010
Mary Westmacott, or the more famous Agatha Christie
Just a few ideas to start anyone on their own online Christie mystery-trail: This seems to be the main Agatha Christie site; the christiemysterynet seems duly approprite; a piece in The Observer on Christie's most famous mystery solved at last, which delves into the still closed book of what many see as the strangest, most inexplicable of Christie's unsolved 'sagas': that of her disappearance for 11 days when she was in her mid-thirties; this Agatha Christie Reading Challenge blog may well interest some, especially crime addicts; finally (though you will track down hundreds more relevant sites) I must include the National Trust and Greenway: the estate is in Devon and it belonged to and was loved by Christie.
But I do want to acknowledge Christie now, on this blog, mainly because she died in the month of January. I've missed the date this year by ten days, which is a shame, but better late than never. So, Agatha Christie, born Agatha May Clarissa Miller, 1890 (sometimes pseudonym, Mary Westmacott) died on 12th January, 1976. Almost 35 years ago. There's a report on her death on the BBC website.
Christie/Westmacott is probably unique amongst the writers I am researching, in that as far as I am aware at the moment she is the only women writer from Devon to have places named after her, as well as several local museums with special displays in her honour. Not surprising perhaps, given that in her time, not only was she the most famous of any women writing in the county, for her fame spread far beyond south-west shores; whilst in her hey-day her work was only outsold by that of Shakespeare and the Bible. Perhaps the most well-known of the Devonian Christie named-afters is the 'Agatha Christie Mile' in Torquay - see here at torbayonline.
I'm off to read it, and the other Westmacott novels
Happy hunting to those who may now be tempted to join me on the Christie/Westmacott trail. More later ...