February 2015 | Nate Pedersen

Fan Letters to Agatha Christie Published for the First Time

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As part of a series of celebrations marking the birth of Agatha Christie 125 years ago, an online campaign is inviting fans from around the world to share stories about how the author changed their lives. In an effort to help the campaign, Christie's grandson, Mathew Prichard, has shared several previously unseen fan letters written to the Queen of Crime.

The letters include a congratulatory note from P G Wodehouse sent to Christie after the publication of Halloween Party.  Wodehouse states he was "pleased and proud" that Christie dedicated the book to him and that "a new Agatha Christie novel is always an event."

A fourteen year old boy in Bristol wrote Christie in 1958 about the book club he started at his school to raise funds to buy her books.  "I have bought 28 books by you and this is how I have managed it. I charge the boys 3d per book to read at school, and 6d if they wished to take them home."

More sobering fan letters were also treasured by Christie, including one from a Polish woman who wrote how she exchanged a piece of candle for a Polish translation of Christie's novel The Man in the Brown Suit while in a German labour camp during WWII.

"I read and reread so often that I almost knew it by heart... for seven months it was my only link with a normal world."

A woman also wrote in 1963 after having spent a decade in a Romanian prison with no access to books. 

"During the 12 years I spent in prison I never saw a written page. My memory, however, could not be sealed up and thanks to it and to you my fellow sufferers cam to know and to love the works of Agatha Christie."

Christie's grandson, Prichard, said of the publication of the letters, "As we call to her fans across the globe to share their stories and experiences of Christie, I look forward to discovering how her work continues to inspire today."

[Image from Wikipedia]