In 1922 Agatha Christie set sail on a 10-month voyage around the British Empire with her husband as part of a trade mission to promote the forthcoming British Empire Exhibition. Now, for the first time in 90 years we are able to see her extensive and previously unpublished letters, which are accompanied by hundreds of photos taken on her portable camera as well as memorabilia Agatha collected along her journey. This eye-opening trip, which took place just after only her second novel had been published (the first leg of the tour to South Africa is very clearly the inspiration for the book she wrote immediately afterwards, The Man in the Brown Suit). The letters are full of tales of seasickness and sunburn, motor trips, surf boarding and dinners with dignitaries all the way from Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Canada.
Agatha’s first letters to her mother can be seen below, these are from the first leg of her journey from Madeira to Cape Town.
R.M.S ‘Kildonan Castle’
First day: 20 January 1922
Everything very comfortable – nice cabin with lots of room.
I do love my violets. Take care of yourself, darling – I do love you so much.
Will write again from Madeira.