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Agatha Christie Home and Garden Book Review
As a long-time fan of Agatha Christie, I highly recommend “Agatha Christie at Home” by Hilary Macaskill. This was released by Frances Lincoln Limited. The foreword is by Christie’s grandson, Mathew Pritchard. This will have special appeal not only to Christie fans but also to gardeners. The author is a journalist and travel writer.
This is illustrated with 80 lush color photos as well as 30 historical black and whites.
This book offers rare insight into the private world of Christie (1890-1976) and the places she loved the most. Long after her death, she remains one of the best selling authors.
As this title reveals, Christie owned as many as eight homes at one point in her life with two of those being the most meaningful to her. Her favorite place on earth was Devon, the location of her beloved Greenway. Christie and her second husband, Max Mallowan, spent summers for 38 years at Greenway.
In this remarkable book, the author presents the story of each property and the role it played in Christie’s life. She also chronicles the books and other works that Christie completed in those places. Throughout this title, Macaskill points out special locations that were featured in the books.
The first chapter presents a biography of Christie and her writings.
This book allows readers to learn all about the daily life in these houses. The author presents details on all aspects of the households, including the servants and staff. The author explains how Christie took a hands-on approach to her homes, gardens, and households. Throughout the book, readers can see how these contributions of Christie can still be seen today.
One chapter is devoted to Torquay, where Ashfield, Christie’s family home, was located. She kept this property after her mother’s death, but sold it twelve years later. Today, there is a plaque in Torquay, where this home once stood.
Other chapters focus on Devon and the surrounding area and the life and leisure activities enjoyed by Christie and her family.
This title explains how Christie handled her parish responsibilities after she purchased Greenway. This was once part of a vast estate that had much influence, responsibilities, and rights in the village of Galmpton.
The author devotes a chapter to the home and garden at Greenway and its fate over the years. After Christie purchased this property in 1938, she played an active role in planning the renovation of the house and grounds. Christie’s husband also took part in planning the gardens, and the result was exotic plants from all over the world. This property was taken over by the British Navy during World War II, but it was returned to Christie after the war largely unharmed though the gardens were neglected and overgrown.
The author provides in-depth details about the lush gardens at Greenway that visitors can still see today. One of the most remarkable features is the Hydrangea Walk. Notable plants include magnolias and camellias, which were favorites of Christie and her husband.
After the war Christie and her family only used Greenway as a summer home. At that time, she established a market garden. She entered some of the garden produce in contests, and won countless prizes.
This book follows the history of Greenway after Christie’s death. In 2000 Christie’s heirs donated it to the National Trust, which began an extensive restoration. Now the property is open to the public and has already become a popular destination.
This title includes lush color photos of the restored house and garden.
The appendix has many helpful lists that will be very useful for anyone planning visits to the area. These include details on places to visit, nearby hotels, transportation sources, websites, and tourist bureaus.
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