Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie is possibly the world’s most famous detective story writer. She wrote 79 novels and several plays. She was born in 1890 in Devon, the third child of Clarissa and Frederick Miller, and grew into a beautiful and sensitive girl with waist-length golden hair. She didn’t go to school but was educated at home by her mother. Her father died when she was 11 and both she and her mother were grief-stricken.
During the I. World War, while she was working in a hospital dispensary, she learned about chemicals and poisons, which proved very useful to her first detective novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in 1920. In it she introduced Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective who appeared in many subsequent novels. Her other main detective was an elderly spinster called Miss Marple.
In 1914, at the beginning of the war, she had married Archibald Christie but the marriage was unhappy. It didn’t last and they divorced in 1926. That year there was a double tragedy in her life because her much-loved mother died. Agatha suffered a nervous breakdown, and one night she mysteriously disappeared. She went missing for 11 day and was found in a hotel in the North of England. It is interesting to note that it was while she was suffering so much that she wrote one of her masterpieces, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
Agatha desperately wanted solitude and developed very bitter feeling towards the media because the newspapers had given her a hard time over her breakdown and disappearance. She was determined never to let them enter her private life again and she buried herself in her work. On the 25 November 1952 her play The Mousetrap opened in London. Today, over 50 years later, it is still running. It is the longest running show in the whole world.
She enjoyed a very happy second marriage to Max Mallowan, an archaeologist. Her detective skills were a help to him in his excavations in Syria and Iraq. She died peacefully in 1976.
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Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie biography
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