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Boring Personal Correspondence
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.