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The Grand Tour Hardcover – 26 Apr 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (26 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000744768X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007447688
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 2 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 118,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Torquay in 1890, Agatha Christie began writing during the First World War and wrote over 100 novels, plays and short story collections. She was still writing to great acclaim until her death, and her books have now sold over a billion copies in English and another billion in over 100 foreign languages. Yet Agatha Christie was always a very private person, and though Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple became household names, the Queen of Crime was a complete enigma to all but her closest friends.

Product Description

Review

‘A compelling, entertaining and joyful read. It is the people she meets along the way for whom she saves her best prose… It is they, and her wonderful descriptions of them, that make this book as enjoyable as any of her novels.’ – SUNDAY EXPRESS

‘The 32-year-old Agatha is confident, full of laughter, and sharply observant. She misses none of the local gossip… We can see an author gathering material for future use – the courting couples, elderly clergymen, spinsters, male secretaries, gouty ex-army officers, and vamps with kohl-ringed eyes, who form Agatha Christie’s typical cast of characters. The long sea voyages, sleeping compartments and dining cars will become the train in Murder on the Orient Express or the paddle steamer in Death on the Nile.’ – DAILY MAIL

About the Author

Agatha Christie was born in Torquay in 1890 and became, quite simply, the best-selling novelist in history. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and another billion in over 100 foreign languages. She is the author of 80 crime novels and short story collections, 19 plays, and six novels under the name of Mary Westmacott.

Mathew Prichard is Agatha Christie’s grandson and Chairman of Agatha Christie Limited, which runs her business affairs. This is the first time he has been directly involved in the writing of a book about his grandmother.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Dartnell on 12 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover
he 32-year-old Agatha is confident, full of laughter, and sharply observant. She misses none of the local gossip... We can see an author gathering material for future use - the courting couples, elderly clergymen, spinsters, male secretaries, gouty ex-army officers, and vamps with kohl-ringed eyes, who form Agatha Christie's typical cast of characters. The long sea voyages, sleeping compartments and dining cars will become the train in Murder on the Orient Express or the paddle steamer in Death on the Nile.' Daily Mail

This book is a collection of letters, notes and photographs from 1922 when Agatha Christie and her husband, Archibald "Archie" joined a small group of others on a 10 month voyage around the world as part of a trade mission to promote the British Empire exhibition that was scheduled to be held in 1924. Agatha Christie travelled through South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Canada.

During the journey, Agatha wrote detailed letters to her mother and many of which are published in the book. In addition, there are many photographs, post cards and news paper cuttings of the trip.

The book is introduced by Agatha Christie's grandson, Mathew Prichard. During the preface to the book, he notes that the Agatha Christie writing the letters on the Grand Tour was very different from the grandmother he knew. She became a much shier and more reserved person, after the stress suffered by her mother's death and her divorce from Archie in 1928 .
This is a must read book for Agatha Christie fans and for anybody who was interested in the 1920s, a time where foreign travel was rare and communication with family and friends took weeks rather than seconds

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nigel Craik on 14 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting insight into Agatha Christies life and social circle, and some aspects of the dominions during the period. However you won't learn much about the Empire Exhibition, so not to be recommended if that is your main interest. Also it has to be said that there is quite a lot of repetition in the content of the photos and letters, but that is in the nature of the material.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By downkiddie TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 17 May 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This attractively produced book is a charming insight into a chapter of Agatha's life, and life in general, 90 years ago. It also nicely sits along side Agatha's Autobiography and her archaeological memoir Come, Tell Me How You Live as autobiographical pieces providing a glimpse of her life.

It concerns a 10 month period in 1922 when she accompanied her dashing husband Archie on a tour around the dominions to promote an upcoming Empire trade show. It's difficult to see what benefit this had from a distance of 90 years, but nevertheless it appears it was quite an adventure.

This book actually recycles substantial chunks of her autobiography to anchor each chapter before her letters and photographs are reproduced. This is actually a very useful method since it allows the reader to follow the events of the tour much more easily. The letters to her mother and others are full of exuberance and honesty, and show a woman who clearly loved her husband and her family, and was having an amazing time seeing the world. In the excerpts of the Autobiography she reasons that at the time it seemed unlikely she'd ever travel to places such as New Zealand, so they took the opportunity to go despite having to leave behind their young daughter.

Christie's photographs are most interesting and some of them are really rather good. They're personal and touching but also fascinating as they show how places have changed. Waikiki beach in Hawaii would not be recongisable if were not for Diamond Head towering over it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pam Pike on 17 April 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It was nice to see Agatha Christie as a young woman enjoying herself on the Grand Tour. The photographs were variable in quality but this maybe the fault of the books reproduction but some of Agatha Christie observations and comments are really quite amusing.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 5 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover
We see on a book jacket endorsement that Agatha Christie is one of that writer's favorite authors. Then the writer adds after reading The Grand Tour she is also one of his favorite people. My sentiments exactly!

Almost as revelatory as a sit-down conversation with the grande dame of mysteries The Grand Tour is a fascinating collection of never before published letters and photographs detailing Christie's travels around the British Empire in 1922. Most of the letters were sent to her mother and included photos taken with Christie's own camera as well as newspaper clippings and various memorabilia. This collection is an insight into the thoughts and mind of a young Agatha Christie who had just published two novels and would later become the most widely published author of all time.

She and her husband, Archie, embarked on a year-long voyage as part of a promotional trade mission, so there was work involved as well as various obligations as they visited South Africa, New Zealand, Hawaii and Canada. Her letters to her mother were, of course, candid which for this reader greatly added to their charm. I especially enjoyed Christie's slightly wicked sense of humor, such as when she describes a fellow passenger as "the only young thing on the ship, but although very pretty, is a terrible mutt." Her observations of both people and places are acute and fascinating to read.

Mathew Prichard, Christie's grandson, has done an excellent job of collecting, editing and introducing these letters. We are in his debt for The Grand Tour reminds us that Christie was not only an outstanding author but a remarkable woman as well.

- Gail Cooke
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