All about Agatha Christie, bio, pictures, links to books and movies
Agatha Christie (1890-1976) was born Agatha May Clarissa Miller in Devon, England in
1890, the youngest of three children in a conservative, well-to-do
Taught at home by a governess and tutors, as a child Agatha Christie never
attended school. She became adept at creating games to keep herself
occupied at a very young age. A shy child, unable to adequately
express her feelings, she first turned to music as a means of
expression and, later in life, to writing.
In 1914, at the age of 24, she married Archie Christie, a World War I
fighter pilot. While he was off at war, she worked as a nurse. It was
while working in a hospital during the war that Christie first came up
with the idea of writing a detective novel. Although it was completed
in a year, it wasn't published until 1920, five years later.
"The Mysterious Affair at Styles" gave the world the inimitable Hercule
Poirot, a retired Belgian police officer who was to become one of the
most enduring characters in all of fiction. With his waxed moustache
and his "little grey cells," he was "meticulous, a tidy little man,
always neat and orderly, with a slight flavour of absurdity about him." (The New Bedside Christie Companion...)
Christie wrote more than 30 novels featuring Poirot. Among the most
popular were "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd" (1926), "Murder on the Orient Express" (1934), and "Death on the Nile" (1937).
In 1926, Archie asked for a divorce, having fallen in love with
another woman. Agatha, already upset by the recent death of her
mother, disappeared. All of England became wrapped up in the case of
the now famous missing writer. She was found three weeks later in a
small hotel, explaining to police that she had lost her memory.
Thereafter, it was never again mentioned or elaborated upon by
She later found happiness with her marriage in 1930 to Max Mallowan,
a young archaeologist who she met on a trip to Mesopotamia.
Another of Christie's most well-known and beloved characters was
introduced in "Murder at the Vicarage" in 1930. Miss Jane Marple, an
elderly spinster in the quaint English village of St. Mary Mead,
solved all manner of mysteries with intense concentration and
intuition. Featured in 12 novels, Miss Marple exemplified the
cozy style, a form of mystery fiction that became popular in, and
ultimately defined, the Golden Age of fiction in England during the
1920s and '30s.
Christie ultimately became the acknowledged Queen of the Golden Age. In all, she wrote over 66 novels, numerous short
stories and screenplays, and a series of romantic novels using the pen
name Mary Westmacott. Several of her works were made into successful
feature films, the most notable being Murder on the Orient Express
(1974). Her work has been translated into more than a hundred
languages. In short, she is the single most popular mystery writer of
In 1971 she was awarded the high honor of becoming a Dame
of the British Empire.