Series 1, Ep. 3/3 – Unfinished Portrait
In the final episode of the series Lucy Worsley examines Agatha Christie’s later life and discovers how, amid the turbulent social and political change of the 1930s and 1940s, newfound personal happiness ushered in a golden age for her writing.
In 1930, recovering from a personal crisis, Agatha Christie travelled to the Middle East. On an archaeological dig in Iraq, she met Max Mallowan and, despite an age difference of 14 years, they fell in love and married. It was this relationship and the security it brought that saw Agatha enter the most prolific and successful chapter of her career.
During this period Agatha would pen some of her most famous and enduring bestsellers, including Murder On The Orient Express. Lucy follows in Agatha’s footsteps to discover the origin of these works, from the luxurious Egyptian steam ship that inspired Death On The Nile to the picturesque Devon coast, where Lucy explores Burgh Island, the inspiration for her most successful and most controversial mystery, And Then There Were None.
Lucy reveals how in later life, Agatha achieved global celebrity but remained the anonymous observer, hiding in plain sight. She uncovers the surprising ‘true crime’ story that inspired Agatha to write The Mousetrap, the longest running play in history. And she discovers how, in old age, the novelist finally embraced the lure of Hollywood, securing a legacy for her stories for future generations.
Contributors include Elena Pischikova and Katherine Blakeney, South Asasif Conservation Project; Professor Frankie Bailey, Crime Historian and author; Dr Julius Green, author of Agatha Christie: A Life In Theatre; and Caroline Crampton, author and podcaster.
Agatha Christie: Lucy Worsley On The Mystery Queen
Friday at 9.00pm on BBC Two. The full series is also available on BBC iPlayer.
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