The Man from the Sea

  • Harley Quin
  • Short Story
  • 1929

A man tries to leap to his death but is stopped first by Harley Quin, then by Mr Satterthwaite. Can they restore happiness to the man's life? From The Mysterious Mr Quin.

More about this story

A man tries to leap to his death unable to bear his own unhappiness, but Mr Satterthwaite and Mr Quin are on hand to try and restore some joy to his life. A story written with conviction, it is a confident early work from Agatha Christie, focussing on the nature of happiness. It also draws on her knowledge of opera, a love she shares with Mr Satterthwaite.

Based on the character of Harlequin from the Italian Commedia dell'arte, Agatha Christie indulges in her fascination with the supernatural as well as her love of theatre and performance.

The story was first published in book form in the collection The Mysterious Mr Quin, published by Collins in 1930. The collection was dedicated to its eponymous hero and is the only book of Agatha Christie's to be dedicated to a fictional character. The story was then abridged and broadcast in 2011 as part of BBC Radio 4's series of Afternoon Readings, performed by Martin Jarvis.

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