Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Artist Books 3.0 #12 - Biography - "Missing"

I have finally completed my edition of accordion fold books
for inclusion in the Artist Books 3.0 #12 (biography/autobiography) 
Collaborative Mail Art Group project.

The subject I chose to explore was Agatha Christie, specifically
the 11 days in December of 1926 she went missing.
I was originally going to poke a bit of fun,
making various disguises in which Ms Agatha
might have been spotted.
However, on re-reading information about the
personal angst which Ms Agatha was suffering at the time,
I thought it would be inconsiderate to make fun of her 
obvious state of desolation, even after all these years.

Herewith are the two pieces of writing 
included with the book (the first being a copy of the 
missing notice posted after Ms Agatha's disappearance,
offering a detailed (though not wholly flattering) description of her at the time:

                       9th December 1926

From her home “Styles” Sunningdale in this Division

Mrs. Agatha Mary Clarissa CHRISTIE


AGE 35 YEARS, HEIGHT 5FT 7”. HAIR RED (Shingled),

DRESSED – Grey Stockingette Skirt,
Green Jumper, Grey and dark Grey Cardigan,
small Green Velour Hat, may have hand bag
containing 5-10 pounds. Left home in
4 seater Morris Cowley car at 9.45 p.m.
on 3rd December leaving note saying she was
going for a drive.  The next morning the
car was found abandoned at Newlands
Corner, Albury, Surrey.

Should this lady be seen or any information
regarding her be obtained please communicate
to any Police Station, or to

        CHARLES GODDARD, Superintendent

            Telephone No. 11 Wokingham

1926 was a tumultuous year for Agatha Christie.  Agatha’s books were beginning to gain in popularity, pushing her reluctantly into the spotlight.  Her ailing mother, Clarissa, died of bronchitis in early February.  Agatha’s husband, Archie, professed his distaste of grief and sadness and resolutely remained in Spain refusing to return to support Agatha through the funeral, her grief and the ordeal of sorting through her childhood home whilst caring for their young daughter.  When Archie did eventually return to England he took up residence in London, far away from their home in Surrey. He took a mistress, Nancy Neele, who shared his passion for golf.  It is believed Agatha, a shy, reserved person, quietly suffered a nervous breakdown after a year filled with personal trauma.

On the 3rd December, after Archie left for a weekend house party to announce his engagement to his mistress, Agatha slipped quietly from their home “Styles” and disappeared for eleven days.  After a nation wide manhunt she was found safe at the Hydropathic Hotel and Spa at Harrogate, claiming she was not aware of who she was or what she was doing there.
Her disappearance has sparked much conjecture through the years, however, Agatha refused to ever speak of the events.


  1. Excellent as your photos are, they do not fully convey the beautiful craftsmanship and creativity of this magic little book. I am so lucky to own one and study it carefully but its secrets elude me.

  2. Aw, thanks Jacques = happy to share any secrets with you :)

  3. What an interesting story Rob. I'm not surprised you were inspired by it. Poor old Agatha - what a b.......d her husband was! Ah well! at least she had her own teeth!! ;-)

    1. Always inspired by Ms Agatha, Amanda.
      Closet Christie fan from way back.
      Who wouldn't admire someone who had their own teeth! :)

  4. Such an interesting story Robyn which you have interpreted into a beautiful and fascinating book.

    1. Thanks Helen, hope you enjoy it. Made quite a few variations before arriving at the final construct - more through misadventure and frustration than intention though!

  5. This is fascinating. I've only just had time to read and absorb following a very busy and exciting time recently.
    How I would love to see the piece for real. The photos suggest so much more to look at and enjoy.