Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Audiotapes of Agatha Christie Discovered

On Monday, the London Times reported that the grandson of Agatha Christie has discovered audiotapes made by the novelist in the mid-1960s.

It was probably no accident that the existence of the secret tapes was revealed on Monday, the 118th anniversary of Christie's birth.

The 27 half-hour tapes were apparently recorded by Dame Christie to help with the writing of her autobiography published in 1977 after her death.

Chorion, the company that manages Christie's estate, was already planning to re-release the autobiography. It is unknown whether the discovery of the tapes will play a part in that re-release. Publishers Weekly said:
Tamsen Harward, literary estates business manager at Chorion, said whether the new edition of Christie's autobiography, called An Autobiography, includes material from the tapes "remains to be seen. We would very much like to do something with them," Harward said, adding that Christie's family is also now discussing how, and if, to publish the tapes.
Christie was notoriously reclusive, and the Times indicates that--prior to the new tapes being discovered--there were only two known recordings of her voice. She died in 1976.

When I was about ten, my mother became concerned when she found me reading my grandfather's Perry Mason paperbacks. She told me those books were not appropriate for my age. I told her that I wasn't going to read those lame Nancy Drew books she kept giving me any longer.

Mom thought about it for a couple of days and then brought me to the library. She handed me a list of three authors: Agatha Christie, Mary Roberts Rinehart and Dorothy Sayers. She told me I could read as many of those authors' books as I chose.

My love of Agatha Christie dates back to that day. Dame Christie wrote some 80 detective stories. I read every one of them during the summer between the time I was ten and eleven. My favorites remain The Man in the Brown Suit, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Death Comes As The End, and The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side.

It was another three or four years before I became old enough to appreciate Dorothy Sayers.

I have a copy of Christie's 1977 Autobiography, but would probably purchase another copy if it came with a copy of the audiotapes.


Gina Black said...

I am a huge Dame Christie fan myself. I started reading her at about the same age you did. I have all her books and have read most of them more than once. Given a title, I can usually tell you who did it (even if I can't tell you what I had for breakfast this morning). I also have her autobiography.

I've always been partial to Tommy and Tuppence, and also Miss Marple. Many years ago I dissected Taken at the Flood to see how she did it. I wanted to write mysteries then. Maybe I still will someday.

Maya Reynolds said...

Gina: I wasn't very fond of Hercule Poirot, but I loved both Harley Quin and Tommy and Tuppence. I, too, grew fond of Miss Marple over the years although I found her to be a busy body when I was a child.



wordtryst said...

I haven't read very many, just a few old ones my mother had around the house. Murder on the Orient Express is the one I remember best. I'll see if I can find a few at the library.

Thanks for stopping by and joining the book launch party, Maya. It was fun!

Maya Reynolds said...

Liane: I enjoyed the book launch party. Thanks for the invite.