Philomel Cottage

  • Short Story
  • 1924

When a distant relative dies, leaving Alix King a large inheritance, she marries in a whirlwind romance. But what does she really know about her new husband...? From The Listerdale Mystery and The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories.

More about this story

The story of a woman who marries a man she barely knows, it is one of the most successful short stories Agatha Christie wrote, examining the fear of the unknown when it manifests in a home. It was published in the collection The Listerdale Mystery in the UK in 1934 and in The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories in 1948.

It was adapted for the West End stage in 1936 by Frank Vosper, titled Love from a Stranger, and recieved high acclaim. It was then filmed a year later, again using Vosper's title, adapted by British film director Rowland V. Lee. It starred Ann Harding and Basil Rathbone. The play was televised in 1938, live on BBC Television, although the broadcast only went out through London. It was 90 minutes long and featured Bernard Lee (later to be known for his role in the James Bond films). In 1947 a US film adaptation was made by Richard Whorf and starred John Hodiak and Sylvia Sidney. This film version was also known as A Stranger Walked In (its UK title).There was a West German adaptation for TV in 1967 titled Ein Fremder klopft an and the story was adapted three times for the American half-hour radio programme Suspense, using the original title in. The first episode aried in 1942 (an epsiode which has since been lost), the second in 1943 in which Orson Welles starred as Gerald, and the final part in 1946. It was adapted for BBC Radio 4 in 2002.

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