Item #007769 The Big Four. Agatha Christie.
The Big Four
The Big Four
The Big Four
The Big Four
The Big Four

The Big Four

London: Collins, 1935. First British edition, twelfth printing. Hardcover. This is a British first edition, twelfth printing. Condition is very good. The binding is tight, clean, and unfaded, though with a modest forward lean and only light wear to extremities. The contents are crisp and clean, with no spotting and no discernible age toning apart from transfer browning to the endpapers from the pastedown glue. Even the text block edges are notably bright. The sole previous ownership mark is a contemporary name, British Columbia address, and date of “Nov. 2nd, 1936” inked on the front free endpaper recto.

The Big Four, first published in the UK and the US in 1927, consists of a set of 12 loosely connected short stories. It followed the huge critical success of the previous year's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. At the beginning of the story, Hercule Poirot is visited at his home by a man "coated from head to foot with dust and mud". The man initially can only repeat Poirot's address, and draws the number 4 "a dozen times, each one bigger than the last". He eventually speaks about an international crime syndicate, and then swiftly dies. Poirot is swept up into the pursuit of the titular Big Four.

Dame Agatha Christie (1890-1976) is the best-selling novelist of all time, most well known for her works of mystery featuring detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Born to a wealthy family in Devon, Agatha Christie spent her happy childhood within the pages of books, having taught herself to read at an early age. Following her father’s death she was sent to a finishing school in Paris. Upon her return to England in 1910 she found her mother ill so they set off to the warmer climate of Cairo for her recovery. This first experience in Egypt was a formative one for the future writer; archaeology, Egyptology, and the Middle East would serve as settings for many of her most famous works. Though Christie was writing through the 1910s and had a number of short stories published under pseudonyms, it would be a decade before her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was published.

Agatha Christie was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1956 in honor of her contribution to British literature. Today Christie’s titles have sold over two billion copies, placing her behind only Shakespeare and the Bible in sales. Her play The Mousetrap has the longest continual initial run of any play, having been performed continuously in London’s West End since its opening in 1952. Item #007769

Price: $100.00

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