Agatha Christie: Book summary and reviews of Agatha Christie by Lucy Worsley

Agatha Christie

An Elusive Woman

by Lucy Worsley

Agatha Christie by Lucy Worsley X
Agatha Christie by Lucy Worsley
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  • Published Sep 2022
    432 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

A new, fascinating account of the life of Agatha Christie from celebrated literary and cultural historian Lucy Worsley.

"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? Her life is fascinating for its mysteries and its passions and, 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 that had its own rules about what women could and couldn't do. Lucy Worsley's biography is not just of a massively, internationally successful 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 realize what an extraordinary pioneer Agatha Christie was—truly a woman who wrote the twentieth century.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"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)

"Worsley comes up with another winner in this sprightly, endearing biography...Throughout, Worsley takes us behind the scenes to reveal classic 'Christie tricks' from her books. With great affection, Worsley masterfully maneuvers her way through Christie's life and prolific oeuvre." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Worsley's thoughtful and generous contribution to the Christie biographical canon will be welcomed and enjoyed by Agatha Christie fans." - Library Journal

"One brilliant woman writing about another: an irresistible combination." - Antonia Fraser, New York Times bestselling author

"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, New York Times bestselling author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny

"This is a warm, intelligent book that 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

This information about Agatha Christie was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Lucy Worsley Author Biography

Lucy Worsley OBE is Chief Curator at the charity Historic Royal Palaces. She also presents history documentaries for the BBC. Her bestselling books include Queen Victoria; Jane Austen at Home; The Art of the English Murder; and If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home. In 2019, her BBC One program Suffragettes with Lucy Worsley won a BAFTA. She lives in England.

Link to Lucy Worsley's Website

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