- NAME: Agatha Christie
- OCCUPATION: Author, Playwright
- BIRTH DATE: September 15, 1890
- DEATH DATE: January 12, 1976
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Torquay, Devon, England, United Kingdom
- PLACE OF DEATH: Cholsey, England, United Kingdom
- Full Name: Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie
- AKA: Mary Westmacott
- Maiden Name: Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller
- AKA: Agatha Miller
- AKA: Agatha Christie
- Nickname: "Queen of Mystery"
- AKA: Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie
- Nickname: "Queen of Crime"
Best Known For
Agatha Christie was a mystery writer who was one of the world's top-selling authors with works like Murder on the Orient Express and The Mystery of the Blue Train.
Agatha Christie - Early Life (1:47)
Watch a short video about Agatha Christie and uncover the life of this immensely famous mystery author, whose life was also shrouded in secrets.
Agatha Christie died on January 12, 1976 at age 85, taking her secrets about her mysterious disappearance to the grave.
In 1926 Agatha Christie disappeared for ten days.
The early life of Agatha Christie, her father Fredrick Miller, her first husband Archibald Christie and her first book.
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Born on September 15, 1890, in Torquay, England, Agatha Christie published her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in 1920, and went on to become one of the most famous writers in history, with mysteries like Murder at the Vicarage, Partners in Crime and Sad Cypress. She sold billions of copies of her work, and was also a noted playwright and romance author. She died on January 12, 1976.
"People often ask me what made me take up writing ... I found myself making up stories and acting the different parts. There's nothing like boredom to make you write. So by the time I was 16 or 17, I'd written quite a number of short stories and one long, dreary novel. By the time I was 21, I finished the first book of mine ever to be published."
"I think the real work is done in thinking out the development of your story and worrying about it until it comes right. That may take quite a while. Then when you've got all your materials together, as it were, all that remains is to try and find time to write the thing."
Best-selling author Agatha Christie was born Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller on September 15, 1890, in Torquay, Devon, in the southeast part of England. The youngest of three siblings, she was educated at home by her mother, who encouraged her daughter to write. As a child, Christie enjoyed fantasy play and creating characters, and, when she was 16, moved to Paris for a time to study vocals and piano.
In 1914, she wed Colonel Archibald Christie, a Royal Flying Corps pilot, and took up nursing during World War I. She published her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in 1920; the story focused on the murder of a rich heiress and introduced readers to one of Christie's most famous characters—Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.
In 1926, Christie released The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, a hit which was later marked as a genre classic and one of the author's all-time favorites. She dealt with tumult that same year, however, as her mother died and her husband revealed that he was in a relationship with another woman. Traumatized by the revelation, Christie disappeared only to be discovered by authorities several days later at a Harrogate hotel, registered under the name of her husband's mistress.
Christie would recover, with her and Archibald divorcing in 1928. In 1930, she married archaeology professor Max Mallowan, with whom she travelled on several expeditions, later recounting her trips in the 1946 memoir Come, Tell Me How You Live. The year of her new nuptials also saw the release of Murder at the Vicarage, which became another classic and introduced readers to Miss Jane Marple, an enquiring village lady.
Poirot and Marple are Christie's most well-known detectives, with the two featured in dozens of novels and short stories. Poirot made the most appearances in Christie's work in titles that included Ackroyd, The Mystery of the Blue Train (1928) and Death in the Clouds (1935). Miss Marple has been featured in books like The Moving Finger (1942) and A Pocket Full of Rye (1953), and been played on screen by actresses like Angela Lansbury, Helen Hayes and Geraldine McEwan. Other notable Christie characters include Tuppence and Tommy Beresford, Colonel Race, Parker Pyne and Ariadne Oliver.
Writing well into her later years, Christie wrote more than 70 detective novels as well as short fiction. Though she also wrote romance novels like Unfinished Portrait (1934) and A Daughter's a Daughter (1952) under the name Mary Westmacott, Christie's success as an author of sleuth stories has earned her titles like the "Queen of Crime" and the "Queen of Mystery." Christie can also be considered a queen of all publishing genres as she is one of the top-selling authors in history, with her combined works selling more than 2 billion copies worldwide.
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