Agatha Christie and the Golden Age of Detective Fiction | Newberry

Agatha Christie and the Golden Age of Detective Fiction

Led by Elzbieta Foeller-Pituch. Two sessions. 5:45 - 7:45 pm.
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Wednesdays, December 2 - December 9

5:45 - 7:45 pm

Full. Email to be added to the wait list.

As a precaution to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Adult Education Seminars Program’s Fall 2020 term will continue to be held virtually. Virtual seminars meet via Zoom video conference and use email and Google Drive folders to share resources and communicate with instructors and participants. For more information about the Newberry’s virtual seminars and these tools, including a Zoom tutorial, please see our Virtual Seminars FAQ page. If you have questions about online learning, please feel free to reach out to

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Seminar Description

This seminar will examine Agatha Christie’s pivotal role in the British Golden Age of detective fiction (the 1920 and 30s) by tracing the development of mystery literature and discussing the rise of her iconic detectives, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. This will allow us to explore the nature of formula fiction and the ways that Agatha Christie plays with and breaks the rules of mystery writing.

Two sessions. Registration – $110

Elzbieta Foeller-Pituch is the Assistant Director of the Chabraja Center for Historical Studies at Northwestern University, where she also teaches literature classes.

Materials List


  • Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express. William Morrow Paperbacks, 2011. ISBN: 978-0062073495.

  • Agatha Christie, The Thirteen Problems. Harper Collins, 2016. ISBN: 978-0008196523. (***Please note: This text is currently out of print and unavailable at the Rosenburg Bookshop but used copies are widely available. Please contact if you have difficulty locating a copy.)

First Reading: For the first session, please read Agatha Christie’s The Thirteen Problems.

Optional Viewing:

  • Murder on the Orient Express. Directed by Sidney Lumet, performances by Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, and Ingrid Bergman, G. W. Films Limited, 1974.

  • “Murder on the Orient Express.” Agatha Christie’s Poirot, directed by Philip Martin, performances by Toby Jones, Jessica Chastain, and Hugh Bonneville, ITV, 2010.

  • Murder on the Orient Express. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, performances by Kenneth Branagh, Penélope Cruz, Willem Defoe, Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, 20th Century Fox, 2017.

Registration Information

Online registration opens at 9 am (CDT) on Tuesday, September 1st.

Please note: Due to COVID-19, the Adult Education Seminars staff is working remotely and will be unable to process registration over the phone. For more information about registration, including a guide to online registration, see our Registration Information page. Questions? Please contact seminars program staff via email at

We offer a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students.

This seminar has reached capacity. Please email to be added to the wait list.

This seminar is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about registering for a seminar, program policies, or teaching a seminar.