Agatha Christie: Biography
15 sep 1890
Agatha Christie was both in Devon, England in 1890 and died in 1976, aged 85. Even 40 years after her death, she is still the most successful crime writer in the world and the most successful novelist of all time. She published a total of 66 detective novels, making Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple household names. Most of her novels have been dramatized for stage, screen and radio. Her play, The Mousetrap, also holds the record as being the world’s longest-running play.
Christie was of the generation who grew up reading Wilkie Collins and Arthur Conan Doyle in their original publications. She very much enjoyed the serials published in the newspapers and decided to try writing her own crime novels. During the First World War, Christie trained as an apothecary’s assistant. Her boss, Mr P, is said to have carried the lethal substance curare in his pocket wherever he went because it made him feel powerful. It was in this role that Christie was able to build up the knowledge of poisons which would prove so useful in her career as a writer.
Agatha Christie is also famous for having disappeared following a request for a divorce from her husband. She vanished from her house, leaving a note behind. There was a huge reward put in place for her safe return and more than 15,000 people went out looking for her. Two weeks after she vanished she was found at a hotel in Harrogate, having booked a room in a false name. She herself never made any reference to her disappearance in any interview or in her extensive autobiography. This episode briefly damaged her reputation, but caused no overall decline in sales of her books.