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An Autobiography (1977)

de Agatha Christie

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1,923408,778 (4.1)1 / 204
Dame Agatha Christie sheds light on her secretive life and tells of her early years, her marriages and rise to success.
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 The Green Dragon: APRIL - SPOILERS - Agatha Christie20 no llegits / 20clamairy, abril 2014

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ETA: I reread this one in January 2024. It had been years since I first read this one. I have so many dog-eared pages from both readings. If I was to quote everything I marked to "remember" to come back to, it would be so long. Definitely glad I reread this one.

Agatha Christie's autobiography has been on my tbr pile for years now. I have looked forward to reading it for so long! I must admit the length had me a little intimidated. But once I started reading this one, I found myself completely absorbed in it. It is truly a fascinating read cover to cover. I think this one could prove appealing to a variety of readers.

Do you love history? I found Agatha Christie's Autobiography to be fascinating. This book is rich in details. Readers learn in great detail about her family and her growing up years. What Christie is describing is a way of life, and the way she saw the world around her. Her thoughts on her parents, grandparents, siblings, the family servants--the cook and the maids and nannies. You get a real sense of what it was to be a child (and teen) growing up in England in the 1890s and 1900s. She was "out" (ready to date) a year or two (or even three) before World War I began.

Are you interested in World War I? in World War II? Christie details what life was like during the war years. She was a nurse for a great part of World War I. She also assisted in dispensing drugs. She fell in love and got married during this time. During World War II she again did her part in the war effort. I believe volunteering in a hospital. She was in and around London during the War. She recalls how she rarely (if ever) took shelter during the raids because she was afraid of being buried alive under all the rubble. She had a grown daughter by that point. A daughter who fell in love, got married, and had a child during this time.

England was at war. It had come. I can hardly express the difference between our feelings then and now. Now we might be horrified, perhaps surprised, but not really astonished that war should come, because we are all conscious that war does come; that it has come in the past and that, at any moment, it might come again. But in 1914 there had been no war for--how long? Fifty years--more? True, there had been the "Great Boer War," and skirmishes on the Northwest frontier, but those had not been wars involving one's own country--they had been large army exercises, as it were; the maintenance of power in far places. This was different--we were at war with Germany. (257)

Are you interested in archaeology? in world-traveling? She spends a good deal of time recalling her travels around the world. She accompanied her first husband on an extended trip--covering several continents. (She left her (quite young) daughter with her mother and sister.) After her divorce--he fell in love with another woman and blamed her for it--she traveled on her own. On one of her trips to the Middle East, she met the man who would become her second husband. He was an archaeologist. While she did not stay with him the duration of all of his digs, she accompanied him on some, and visited on others. Readers learn that Christie LOVED, LOVED, LOVED to travel.

Are you a rehab addict? Christie loved looking at houses, buying houses in need of repair, fixing them up, renting them out, and selling them. She owned many properties at various points in her life. I believe the book said she owned eight during World War II. The book talks about her remodeling and redesigning houses.

Are you interested in writing, in her writing life? You'll find plenty to delight you within her autobiography. She talks about different sides of her writing life. Her novels. Her mystery novels. Her plays. Her short stories. Her poems. She talks about her mistakes and successes. Readers learn about which books she liked best and which book she really, really hated!

It was while I was working in the dispensary that I first conceived the idea of writing a detective story. (289)

People never stop writing to me nowadays to suggest that Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot should meet--but why should they? I am sure the would not enjoy it at all. Hercule Poirot, the complete egoist, would not like being taught his business by an elderly spinster lady. He was a professional sleuth, he would not be at home all in Miss Marple's world. No, they are both stars, and they are stars in their own right. (502)

Do you love to read? Christie shares her thoughts on her favorite writers and books!

I want to emphasize the fact that you do not have to love mysteries in order to find this autobiography of a mystery writer fascinating! I marked so many passages that I wanted to share with you. Too many to actually share. It would overwhelm any post. So just trust me, read this one!

I will choose a quote which happens to bring to mind a certain song from Frozen.

One of the first things that happens when you are attracted to a man and he is to you is that extraordinary illusion that you think exactly alike about everything, that you each say the things the other has been thinking. (228) ( )
  blbooks | Jan 26, 2024 |
Reading this autobiography brought home to me that, while I am indeed a mystery fan, my love of Christie's books also stems from a liking of both her writing style and her personal viewpoints.

I don't read much nonfiction and when I do, I tend toward travel type books. So it may be my inexperience with autobiographies but this one struck me as unusual. Christie jumps around in time and interposes bits of personal philosophy or belief with anecdotes. She says quite openly towards the beginning that one of the things that elderly people like to do is remember and talk about their lives and that she was going to do this in book form rather than subjecting her family and friends to listening to a subject that would be boring to them. As such, it really is more of a memoir than an autobiography. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 27, 2023 |
Really long, but very interesting. Lots of good insight into why Agatha Christie's books are the way they are (characters, setting, etc.). Plus she's just a really good autobiographer. Her second marriage is very satisfying to read about after the heartbreak that was her first. And she did a lot of daring things for a woman of the early to mid-20th century, though she didn't really see herself as much of a risk-taker. ( )
  Alishadt | Feb 25, 2023 |
Wonderful book. It's the adventures of Agatha Christie told in an episodic fashion chronologically arranged. It's something I want to read more than once. ( )
  BrianEWilliams | Dec 1, 2022 |
Agatha Christie, que siempre había guardado celosamente su intimidad, nos cuenta, por fin, su vida: la feliz infancia, los amores de juventud, sus dos matrimonios, sus viajes y su intensa vida familiar, y por supuesto, su brillante carrera literaria, con la fulgurante trayectoria hacia el éxito que la convertiría en la escritora más popular del siglo XX, cuyas cifras de venta sólo son superadas por la Biblia y por las obras de Shakespeare.
  Daniel464 | Aug 22, 2021 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Christie, Agathaautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Nuuttila, AnttiTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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O! ma chere Maison; mon nid, mon gite
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Foreword: Nimrud is the modern name of the ancient city of Calah, the military capital of the Assyrians.
One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is, I think, to have a happy childhood.
Preface: Agatha Christie began to write this book in April 1950; she finished it some fifteen years later when she was seventy-five years old.
[Epilogue] The longing to write my autobiography assailed me suddenly at my "house" at Minrud, Beit Agatha.
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I have always admired the Esquimaux. One fine day a delivious meal is cooked for dear old mother, and then she goes walking away over the ice—and doesn't come back. . . .

One should be proud of leaving life like that—with dignity and resolution.
It is of course, all very well to write these grand words. What will really happen is that I shall probably live to be ninety-three, drive everyone mad by being unable to hear what they say to me, complain bitterly of the latest scientific hearing aids, ask innumerable questions, immediately forget the answers and ask the same questions again. I shall quarrel violently with some patient nurse-attendant and accuse her of poisoning me, or walk out of the latest establishment for genteel old ladies, causing endless trouble to my suffering family.
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Dame Agatha Christie sheds light on her secretive life and tells of her early years, her marriages and rise to success.

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