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James Dean

Autograph Letter Signed - 1955

Rare Autograph Letter Signed, 5″ x 7″, Greenway House stationery, South Devon, England, April 20, 1961. A quite spirited letter to a Mr. Kittermaster of the Central Office of Information, the British Government’s information and publicity office, declining a publicity request following Christie’s conferrence of an honorary degree from Exeter University. Very fine condition, in blue ballpoint with violet government receipt stamp. In full:

Dear Mr. Kittermaster

I’m sorry I must refuse your suggestion, but I don’t enjoy this sort of thing — so really why should I?

Also I don’t see why the conferrence of a degree should be an excuse for publicity. I am most averse to the idea.

Yours sincerely,
Agatha Christie

Fully handwritten letters by Christie are extremely scarce, most of her correspondence having been typewritten. The famed English writer shows a flash of irritation at the very thought of parlaying her degree into publicity for the British Government. A fascinating glimpse into Christie’s personality and values.

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller, Lady Mallowan, DBE (1890-1976), commonly known as Agatha Christie, was an English crime writer of novels, short stories and plays. She also wrote romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but is best remembered for her 80 detective novels and her successful West End theatre plays. Her works, particularly featuring detectives Hercule Poirot or Miss Jane Marple, have given her the title the ‘Queen of Crime’ and made her one of the most important and innovative writers in the development of the genre.

Christie has been called—by the Guinness Book of World Records, among others—the best-selling writer of books of all time and the best-selling writer of any kind, along with William Shakespeare. Only the Bible is known to have outsold her collected sales of roughly four billion copies of novels.


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