Author of the Month · Favorites

September 2020 – Agatha Christie

About the Author

Writer, Traveller, Playwright, Wife, Mother, Surfer

In 1890, Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born into a wealthy upper-middle-class family in Torquay, Devon, and was largely home-schooled.

According to Christie, Clara, her mother did not want her to read until she was 8 years old! Nevertheless, because of Christie’s curiosity, she started reading by age 4.

In April 1901, at age 10, she wrote her first poem, “The cowslip”. Drawing creativity from children’s stories of the time like those of Edith Nesbit.

When she was eighteen years old, Christie wrote her first short story, “The House of Beauty”, while recovering in bed from an illness. At this stage, as a young lady, Agatha read the works of Anthony Hope, Sir Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, and Alexandre Dumas.

After marrying Archibald “Archie” Christie, during World War 1, she began writing detective novels and short stories. Her debut novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles took some time to finish and even longer to find a publisher. 

In August 1926, Archie asked Christie for a divorce. He had fallen in love with Nancy Neele, a fellow golfer and friend of the family. On 3 December 1926, Agatha left Rosalind (her daughter with Col. Archie Christie) and the house to the care of the maids without saying where she was going. Her abandoned car was found the following morning, which resulted in a nation wide search by police men, volunteers and an airplane search across rural lands.

Despite this large-scale search, she was only found 10 days later. She was then found in Harrogate and it transpired that Agatha had checked herself into the  Swan Hydropathic Hotel under the name of Theresa Neale, from Cape Town, South Africa. She was recognized by the hotel staff who alerted the authorities. Agatha had no recollection of who she was and many have theorized on what the actual cause of her disappearance was.

After her divorce from Archie, Agatha set out to Baghdad fulfilling one of her lifelong dreams of travelling on the Orient Express. She visited archaeological sites and became friends with the Woolleys who ran the dig. It was on a dig that she met her younger second husband, the twenty-five year old archaeologist-in-training Max Mallowan.

During the Second World War Max got a wartime job in Cairo and Agatha remained in England, writing and also volunteering at the Dispensary at University College Hospital in London, as she did during World War 1 but this time she updated her knowledge of poisons.  Her later novel The Pale Horse was based on her knowledge gained here.

Her Career in total

Agatha Christie became the best-selling novelist of all time.

She is best known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, as well as the world’s longest-running play – The Mousetrap, as well as six novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott.

Works Cited List

Agatha Christie Limited (ACL) , viewed 19 May 2020, Christie Limited 2020, About Christie.
Wikipedia 2020, Agatha Christie, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., viewed 19 May 2020, <>.

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