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on 17 May 2012
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. Christie's letters often mention how things remind her of home, poignantly showing how she misses it. South Africa is like Torquay, whilst Launceston in Tasmania reminds her of Newton Abbott!

There are charming little bits and pieces which suggest plot ideas to the Agatha Christie fan. There's a fox terrier with a penchant for performing tricks for visitors - could this be Bob from Dumb Witness?. In his introduction Christie's grandson Mathew Pritchard mentions Sir Eustace Pedler in The Man in the Brown Suit being based on one of the tour party. This increases the interest for Christie fans.

It's also interesting as it shows a side to Christie's character that is less well known. I imagined her as a very private and reserved person but here she seems a more gregarious person, maybe not the life and soul of the party but nevertheless an important part of it.

This is a book many Agatha Christie fans will enjoy, and although it seems strange to be reading her personal letters to her mother, it's an interesting insight into her character. As a social document it is also fascinating, with the life on the steamship and the still strong Empire bombarding its way through the world.
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on 14 March 2013
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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on 12 September 2013
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

Read more at : [...]
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on 17 April 2014
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 December 2012
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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on 11 August 2013
This book is a compilation of photographs and transcriptions of letters sent by Agatha Christie in 1922 during a 10 months round-the-world tour. At best it's an historical record made accessible to the public. The photographs are just tourist snapshots from her photo albums (without any enhancement). Many of her original letters - both in "scratchy" handwriting and typewritten with a dodgy Corona - are reproduced as illustrations so readers can see that the transcriptions are faithful copies. Mathew Prichard, as editor, has noted that there are "occasional inconsistencies in grammar and punctuation" in the originals. Since these are Christie's own, they have not been corrected in the transcriptions. Therefore, those commenters who have complained of poor editing, spelling mistakes and typos are off the point.

All in all, the letters are really quite boring. Christie did a lot of tedious travelling by ship - for periods of up to three weeks at a time - with nothing better to do than play deck quoits.

With, perhaps, just one exception, it would be drawing a long bow to see any of Christie's future characters as having been based on any of the many government officials and their "amusing" wives encountered in 1922.

I did not buy this book. I borrowed the hardcover edition through my local library.
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on 18 May 2012
A must for all Agatha Christie fans. This is a very entertaining read using original writings by Agatha Christie in the form of letters sent to her family back in England. A potted history lesson giving eye witness accounts of the uprising in South Africa and life in the empire during the early 1920's. Also, as Agatha has now been outed as "the queen of surf", fascinating accounts of surfing 90 years ago. Illustrated with photos throughout.
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on 26 May 2012
Agatha Cristie The grand Tour is a lovely book, a great feeling of what it was like on the tour where they went and what they saw & did.Lots of pics of what places were like at that time with extracts from agatha`s diary & letters home makes it a lovely read.
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on 15 June 2015
Excellent book
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on 15 January 2013
I brought this for my wife s she is a massive Agatha Christie fan. She was thrilled with it, so no complaints from me. Item also arrived promptly and was in perfect condition.
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