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Last week, I took a fantasy trip to Harrogate in Yorkshire. You’ll see why I chose that location in this post!
Agatha Christie’s birthday is next week — she was born on September 15 in 1890.
I saved a couple of PBS shows from earlier this year to watch around her birthday.
The first was Inside the Mind of Agatha Christie.
Inside the Mind of Agatha Christie tells her story from her notes and recordings as well as interviews with her descendants and experts. I was particularly intrigued that they interviewed a woman who was directing a production of one of her plays. Directing a play must be a marvelous way to get into the mind of the author.
I was moved, most, by what the British public felt about her and her books during World War II.
I enjoyed, most, the last section that talked about where she lived for the end of her life. Her holiday home was Greenway House in Devon. She called it “the loveliest place in the world.” Greenway is now owned by the National Trust and open to the public. I’d love to take the walks on the property, particularly through the gardens and to the Boat House. The Boat House was the scene of the crime in the Poirot mystery, Dead Man’s Folly. The views along the River Dart, which is very wide and tidal at this location, look stunning.
Given how much I enjoyed the material about Greenway House, I really looked forward to the second documentary — Agatha Christie’s England.
It did not disappoint. There is amazing footage, both historical and current, that makes this show feel like a themed trip to England, completely focused on the homes and haunts of Agatha Christie and her characters.
I particularly enjoyed the section about trains. Agatha Christie lived through the golden age of train travel and trains made frequent appearances in her books.
Did you know that Agatha Christie was the subject of a real-life mystery? In 1926, her empty car was found in Surrey, south of London. She was found eleven days later way up north, at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate, Yorkshire — the place I visited for my fantasy travel, last week. The Old Swan’s website devotes a page to their connection with Agatha Christie.
Both shows are biographical, but they engage the material at slightly different angles. There’s more of her childhood in Agatha Christie’s England. Both documentaries describe her dramatic disappearance in 1926 pretty heavily. Inside the Mind of Agatha Christie talks more about her writing process.
I watched both shows with my PBS Passport that I get by contributing to my local PBS station. They’re both available on a single DVD that’s widely held by libraries. I’ve yet to really dive into Agatha Christie’s books, so you don’t need to be a huge fan to enjoy these documentaries.
It’s that time of year — R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril. In September and October, bloggers celebrate scary books and shows. Some folks go very scary, but Agatha Christie is about my speed.