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By M. Makinen

Christie's books depict girls as adventurous, self reliant figures who renegotiate sexual relationships alongside extra equivalent strains. girls also are allowed to disrupt society and but the texts refuse to determine them as double deviant due to their femininity. This booklet demonstrates precisely how quietly innovatory Christie was once with regards to gender.

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Additional resources for Agatha Christie: Investigating Femininity

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None of us have ever been able to look after her properly,’ said Tommy. (By the Pricking of My Thumbs, 1968, p. ’ (Postern of Fate, 1973, p. 256)18 Christie consistently created a distinction between traditional, conservative gender relations, which the novels term ‘Victorian’ sentimentality and the new renegotiations of the ‘modern’, and placed masculine protectiveness as an outworn Victorian concept, as delineated in Murder is Easy (1939): ‘Good old sentimentality to the fore again, thought Luke.

It is a decidedly feminist event for the 1920s where a man was conventionally expected to pay. 23 But in the twenties, struggling for a new gender configuration within the changing modern world, Holtby argues for who pays for dinner being a site of struggle and re-negotiation for gender equality. The only sensible way out of the difficulty is to drop this sentiment about ‘a man’s privilege’. If some women still think that any man, however ill he can afford it, ought to pay all bills for entertainments, it is time they learned the new code.

Her comment is not inviting a sexist acceptance of the status quo but indicting the sexism of the legal establishment. In the final Postern of Fate (1973), the now elderly couple pursue their own lines of enquiry, but Tommy insists that both their methods are equally effective and they are finally toasted on their success as ‘a gifted pair’ (POF, p. 391). The complementarity is consistently egalitarian, spanning as it does the majority of the twentieth century. What seems commonplace in the seventies Postern of Fate was still radical in the twenties and thirties.

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