Agatha Christie was the author of over eighty novels and over a dozen plays, including The Mousetrap, the longest continuously running play in theatrical history. Her books have been translated into more languages than the works of Shakespeare.
Agatha Christie’s first home was at Ashfield in Torquay, a house that she retained for nearly half a century, until she sold it in 1938 in order to buy Greenway, her ‘dream house’ on the River Dart. She spent all her summers there till she died in 1976. It was, she wrote: ‘the loveliest house in the world.’ Now owned by the National Trust, Greenway was opened to the public in 2009.
Both Devon homes, which featured in several of her novels and stories, were central to Agatha’s life, but she also loved the process of acquiring and planning houses in other places – from Sunningdale to Baghdad: at one time, before the Second World War, she owned eight properties in London. Her enthusiasm for buying, restoring and decorating houses is one of the lesser-known aspects of her life, but one that was very important to her. Agatha Christie at Home – illustrated with photos of her life, her homes and of the Devon she loved – recounts this side of her life, and its author, Hilary Macaskill, writes about some of the houses Agatha Christie lived in, her relationship with the staff who ran them, and her love of domesticity.
Illustrated with rarely-seen archive images and evocative photographs of Greenway and the surrounding countryside, Agatha Christie at Home provides an insight into the life and work of a much-loved author.
HILARY MACASKILL is a journalist and travel writer. She lives in London.
MATTHEW PRICHARD is the grandson of Agatha Christie, and now is the Chairman of Agatha Christie Ltd. He spent many happy summers at Greenway and now lives at Pwllywrach in Glamorgan, which is also the home of the Agatha Christie archive.
Chapter 1 Agatha Christie and her homes - from dolls houses to Greenway
Chapter 2 The Greenway Estate - a history
Chapter 3 The Gardens - from walled garden to the river Dart
Chapter 4 The households - servants in fact and fiction
Chapter 5 The Countryside - Devon as home, and setting
Chapter 6 The books - A sense of place