London, Sept 15 : Author Agatha Christie modelled the famous character of Miss Marple on her own grandmother, according to the recently discovered 44-year-old audiotapes.
The tapes were found by Christie's grandson Mathew Prichard, after he stumbled upon 27 of the half-hour long tapes in a dusty cardboard box while cleaning out a storeroom in the author's Greenway home, which she called "the loveliest place in the world". In fact, the recently discovered tapes formed the raw material on which part of her autobiography was based.
The ageing Christie dictated the tapes on a Grundig Memorette machine in the mid 1960s.
The tapes carry her description of Jane Marple, and how she partially based the genteel sleuth on her grandmother.
While she always claimed that Miss Marple was in no way "a picture of my grandmother", she did admit that the two shared an important trait.
"Although a completely cheerful person, she always expected the worst of anyone and everything. And with almost frightening accuracy (she was) usually proved right," the Telegraph quoted Christie as saying of her grandmother in the tapes.
Her grandmother would say: "I shouldn't be surprised if so-and-so was going on. And although with no grounds for these assertions, that was exactly what was going on," recalled Christie. Meanwhile, Prichard said that it was "eerie" to hear his grandmother's voice after more than 30 years of her death.
"Comforting isn't quite the word, but they are very evocative," he described his feelings on listening to it.
Laura Thompson, author of the biography 'Agatha Christie: An English Mystery', said that the "extraordinary" find was of great value because Christie rarely gave interviews.
"She did speak on the radio to the BBC a couple of times in the 1950s but she did very, very little. It is a thrill to hear her voice," said Thompson.