- Anthony Award for Best Writer Of The Century
- Anthony Award for Best Series Of The Century
Agatha Christie, known as the ‘Queen of Crime’, was a renowned English writer who wrote over 66 detective novels. She is best known as the creator of Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and village lady Miss Marple. She is credited for writing world’s longest running play ‘The Mousetrap’. Her first successful publication was ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’ that introduced the character of Poirot. According to Index Translationum, her books have been translated into 103 different languages, and her works rank third rank after the works of William Shakespeare and the Bible, as the world’s most widely published books. Her novel ‘And Then There Were None’ deserves special mention as her best-selling novel. Around 100 million copies of this novel have been sold till now. For her noteworthy contribution in the field of detective stories, she received several awards, such as, Grand Master Award and an Edgar Award. A number of films, television series, video games and comics have been made based on her stories. Her created character Poirot is the only fictional character for which The New York Times published an obituary, which is a clear indication of the character’s popularity.
- Hailing from an upper middle class family of Devon, in South West England, Agatha Christie was born as Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, the third child of Frederick Alvah Miller and Clara Boehmer.She spent her childhood days in a happy environment surrounded by some strong and independent women. On the insistence of her mother, she received a home education on arithmetic. She also learnt to play the piano and the mandolin at home.In 1901, her family went through financial crisis on account of her father’s death. The sad demise of her father ended her childhood. She started living together with her mother in their Torquay home.In 1902, she took admission at Miss Guyer’s Girls School in Torquay, but could not continue her study there.In 1905, she went to Paris, France where she studied singing and piano at Mrs Dryden’s finishing school.Career
- Her first short story was ‘The House of Beauty’ which described the world of ‘madness and dreams’. She continued writing short stories, which mirrored her interest in spiritualism and paranormal activities.She wrote a novel, namely, ‘Snow Upon the Desert’ which she sent to some publishers under the pseudonym of Monosyllaba. Unfortunately, publishers were reluctant to publish her works.During World War I in 1914, Agatha joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment. During her service there, she attended injured soldiers at the hospital in Torquay, England.From October 1914 to December 1916, she dedicated her time by serving for 3,400 hours of unpaid work.From December 1916 until the end of her service in September 1918, she earned a wage as a dispenser at an annual rate of £16.As an avid reader of detective novels of prominent authors like Sir Arthur Conan Doyel, she created detective character of Hercule Poirot through her detective novel ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’.In October 1920, John Lane at The Bodley Head agreed to publish ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles' on the condition of changing the ending of this novel.Her second novel ‘The Secret Adversary’ published in 1922, again by The Bodley Head, introduced the characters of detective couple Tommy and Tuppence.Her third novel namely ‘Murder on the Links’ was published in 1923. This novel featured characters like Hercule Poirot and Arthur Hastings.During the Second World War, the experience of working in the pharmacy at University College Hospital in London helped her to gain knowledge about poisons. She utilized this knowledge in her post-war crime novels.She was seen publicly for the last time during the opening night of her play ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ in 1974. In the next year, she signed over the rights of this play to her grandson due to her poor health condition.Major Works
- Her novel ‘Murder in Mesopotamia’, set in the backdrop of Middle East, appeared in 1936. This book is remarkable for its vivid description of an archaeological dig site and the characters of this book are based on archaeologists whom she met in real life.Published in 1938, the novel ‘Appointment with Death’ features her well-known detective character Hercule Poirot. The novel is set in Jerusalem and the book offers some very descriptive details of sites which she herself would have visited in order to write the book.Awards & Achievements
- Being a successful author of a number of detective stories, she was titled as the ‘Queen of Crime’.To honor her literary creation, she was appointed as Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1956 New Year Honors.Personal Life & Legacy
- Agatha Christie fell in love with Archibald Christie whom she married on the Christmas Eve in 1914. Archibald, who was the son of a judge in the Indian Civil Service, was born in India. Their daughter Roseline was born in 1919.In 1926, her husband disclosed his relationship with another woman. On December 3, 1926, after a quarrel between Agatha and her husband, she disappeared from her house.On December 14, 1926, she was identified at the Swan Hydropathic Hotel in Harrogate, Yorkshire. It is believed that she experienced a nervous breakdown probably due to the death of her mother earlier that year and her husband’s infidelity.After her divorce with Archibald in 1928, she married archaeologist Max Mallowan. Her travel experience with Max in the Middle East provided background of several of her detective novels.Trivia
- During her disappearance in 1926, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle took one of her gloves to a spirit medium to find her location. The Home Secretary of that time, William Joyson-Hicks pressurized the police department to find her.
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Books by Agatha Christie
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