Entertainment & Arts

In pictures: Agatha Christie: Unfinished Portrait

A collection of previously unseen and rare photographs of Agatha Christie are on display at an exhibition marking the 125th anniversary of the author's birth.

Agatha Christie: Unfinished Portrait features images from the writer's private collection to illustrate the life behind the "Queen of Crime".

Displayed alongside quotes from the author herself taken from both published and unpublished personal correspondence, here is a selection of the photographs on show.

Image copyright The Christie Archive
Image caption Agatha at Greenway. By Svend Aage Dantoft. 1967

"Oh I'm an incredible sausage machine, a perfect sausage machine! I always think it must end soon, then I'm so glad when the next one comes along and it's not so difficult to think of something new after all." (Notes from an interview for The New York Daily News)

Image copyright The Christie Archive
Image caption Agatha playing a mandolin; Agatha with her dolls Phoebe and Rosalind. c1898

"I remember some dolls; Phoebe, whom I did not care much for, and a doll called Rosalind or Rosy. She had long golden hair and I admired her enormously. I made my own world and my own playmates. I really do think that was a good thing. I have never all through my life, suffered from the tedium of 'nothing to do'." (An autobiography p21 and p60)

Image copyright The Christie Archive
Image caption Dance class in Torquay. Agatha in the centre. c1904

"We were like obstreperous flowers - often weeds maybe, but nevertheless all of us growing exuberantly - pressing violently up through cracks in pavements and flagstones, and in the most inauspicious place, determined to have our fill of life and enjoy ourselves, bursting out into the sunlight, until someone came and trod on us. Even bruised for a time, we would soon lift a head again."

Image copyright The Christie Archive
Image caption Agatha (centre) roller-skating on Torquay pier with the Lucy family. c1911

"Roller-skating on the pier was a pastime much in vogue. The surface of the pier was extremely rough and you fell down a good deal, but it was great fun." (An Autobiography p136)

Image copyright The Christie Archive
Image caption Surfing in Muizenberg. 7 February 1922

"That rushing through the water at what seems to you a speed of about two hundred miles an hour; all the way in from the far distant raft, until you arrived, gently slowing down, on the beach... It is one of the most perfect physical pleasures that I have known." (An Autobiography p309)

Image copyright The Christie Archive
Image caption 15 December 1926. First press sighting of Agatha leave the spa hotel - The Harrogate Hydro - after going missing for 11 days.

"I felt like a fox, hunted, my earths dug up and yelping hounds following me everywhere. I had always hated notoriety of any kind, and now I had such a dose of it that at some moments I felt I could hardly bear to go on living." (An Autobiography p364)

Agatha Christie: Unfinished Portrait is on at the Bankside Gallery in London until 6 September.

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