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Ngaio Marsh: Her Life in Crime Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Length: 480 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product Description

About the Author

Dr Joanne Drayton is the author of Edith Collier Her Life and Work, 1885-1964 (1999); Rhona Haszard: An Expatriate New Zealand Artist (2002) and Frances Hodgkins: A Private Viewing (2005) and contributed a chapter to Between the Lives: Partners in Art (2005). She has curated exhibitions of Collier, Haszard, Hodgkins, and D. K. Richmond's work, and publishes in art history and theory. In 2007, she was awarded a National Library Fellowship to write a biography of Dame Ngaio Marsh.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1390 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (3 Sept. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9AUO
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #464,955 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read all of Ngaio Marsh's detective novels and enjoyed the varied backgrounds for each. This biography shows the basis for many of the books and the way in which Marsh used her experiences to create a great sense of place even in novels with less than perfect plots. Most of her books are good stories and are well worth reading as normally the plots are clever and the writing is witty and erudite.
Marsh herself comes over as a private woman with a huge love of the arts, being herself artist, writer, actor and director. She drove the development of New Zealand theatre in the mid 20th century and got a well deserved damehood for both writing and theatre.
This biography draws a lot of information from letters and her own autobiography, together with articles and interviews given by Marsh. In respect of being a good source of information on Marsh, it is fine. However it could have done with a darn good edit, as information is repeated, the order of events is confused with some duplications and some gaps. There is a huge focus on her theatrical productions, with discussion on their merits or otherwise, reviews, thoughts on the production itself. The books are merely described. There seemed to me to be a lot of judgementalism in the author's view of Marsh, speculating constantly about her sexuality and relationships with women. The main evidence for her supposed lesbianism appears to be because she wore mannish outfits. As a six foot rail thin woman these clothes probably suited her!
Still worth a read as a glimpse of this fascinating woman, but I didnt feel that I knew her much better at the end.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had read Ngaio Marsh's Black Beech and Honeydew and found it a big disappointment as half the book told about her childhood and the other half was all about theatre(the childhood part was intesting though). Her books were mentioned in a couple of sentences. This book explains her reticence and gives depth to her as a person.And most of all:it tells us about her books and the way they interacted with her life. Thank you,Ms Drayton!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have just finished reading all the Ngaio Marsh mysteries and the short stories in the Kindle editions of her work. (Somehow I missed almost all of them over the years, with the exception of Dyed in the Wool.) At the end of the 11th volume is the autobiography. Having read that, I ordered and read this book, hoping to learn a bit more about the woman than she tells, herself. I was pleased to find out more, get some gaps filled, find out what she was involved in over the years. Because I had just read the autobiography, I found myself skipping over the many sections in this book which consist of quotes I'd already just read. Two things I take issue with, one has already been mentioned by another reviewer, and that is the assumption that because Ngaio Marsh often (but not always) wore trousers, men's shirts, and sometimes a tie, etc., she may have probably maybe might have been lesbian. There is even a description of a photo of her with the Rhodes family in which she is described as "looking boyish". I looked at the photo and saw nothing to justify that description. Absolutely a girl! A tall, slim girl. The second thing I found quite fascinating that I didn't agree with at all was the varying estimations of the quality of the detective novels. (Joanne Drayton is usually quoting reviewers of the day, but usually adds her own gloss on it as well.) From my point of view, as a very exacting sort of mystery reader, Ngaio Marsh started out well with her first book, improved with the second one, and with the third she hit a level of excellence that never faltered from then on. Every one from the third one on was a delight for me.Read more ›
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