Biography: Agatha Christie




Agatha Christie is the world's best known author of detective fiction. She has been declared by the Guinness Book of World Records to be the best selling fiction author of all time; and she is outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. She wrote novels, short stories and plays continuously for over fifty years.

Biography

Agatha Christie was born Agatha May Clarissa Miller on the 15th of September 1890 in Torquay, Devon. She had two older siblings.

When Christie was eleven, her father died. Christie's mother didn't believe in traditional schooling and educated her children at home, encouraging them particularly with reading and writing. She was also educated by governesses and tutors sporadically, and formed a friendship with a local writer. When Christie was sixteen she attended a music school in Paris, however was too shy to make a career from performing. During her teen years she read many of the Sherlock Holmes stories.

After she returned from Paris, Christie accompanied her mother on a trip to Egypt for three months. Upon returning she met and became engaged to her first husband, Lieutenant Archibald Christie, whom she married in 1914. During the war Christie worked as a nurse in a dispensary and wrote her first novel. Her dispensary work gave her knowledge about poisons which would later inform her writing.

In 1919, Christie's only child was born. In 1922, Christie's second novel was published, marking the beginning of her fifty year career. She proceeded to produce a huge quantity of work.

In 1926, Christie disappeared for eleven days. She claimed to have stress related amnesia brought on by the double shock of the death of her mother and discovering her husband to be in love with another woman. She appeared that had planned her disappearance, and public opinion was turned against her method of attention seeking.

Christie divorced Archibald in 1928 and proceeded to join an archaeological dig, where she met her second husband, Max Mallowan. They married in 1930. During the second world war, Christie continued to write prolifically while serving in a London dispensery. Her daughter was widowed in the war and remarried.

In 1956, Christie received the Commander of the Order of the British Empire decoration. She became president of the Detection Club in 1958. In 1960, her husband received an Commander of the Order of the British Empire decoration also for archeology. In 1968 Mallowan received a knighthood, and then in 1971 Christie received Order of Dame Commander of the British Empire, making her Dame Agatha Christie.

From 1971 to 1974, Christie's health began to fail however she continued to write. In 1975 she was weakened further, and signed over the rights of her famous play, The Mouse Trap, to her grandson. Christie died at home on January 12, 1976.

Bibliography

Novels as Agatha Christie

  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920)
  • The Secret Adversary (1922)
  • Murder on the Links (1923)
  • The Man in the Brown Suit (1924)
  • The Secret of Chimneys (1925)
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926)
  • The Big Four (1927)
  • The Mystery of the Blue Train (1928)
  • The Seven Dials Mystery (1929)
  • The Murder at the Vicarage (1930)
  • The Sittaford Mystery/Murder at Hazelmore (1931)
  • Peril at End House (1932)
  • Lord Edgware Dies/Thirteen at Dinner (1933)
  • Murder on the Orient Express/Murder on the Calais Coach (1934)
  • Why Didn't They Ask Evans? or The Boomerang Clue (1934)
  • Three Act Tragedy/Murder in Three Acts (1935)
  • Death in the Clouds/Death in the Air (1935)
  • The A.B.C. Murders/The Alphabet Murders (1936)
  • Murder in Mesopotamia (1936)
  • Cards on the Table (1936)
  • Death on the Nile (1937)
  • Dumb Witness/Poirot Loses a Client/Mystery at Littlegreen House/Murder at Littlegreen House (1937)
  • Appointment with Death (1938)
  • Hercule Poirot's Christmas/Murder for Christmas/A Holiday for Murder (1938)
  • And Then There Were None/Ten Little Indians/Ten Little Niggers (1939)
  • Murder is Easy/Easy to Kill (1939)
  • Sad Cypress (1940)
  • One, Two, Buckle My Shoe/An Overdose of Death/The Patriotic Murders (1940)
  • Evil Under the Sun (1941)
  • N or M? (1941)
  • The Body in the Library (1942)
  • Five Little Pigs/Murder in Retrospect (1942)
  • The Moving Finger/The Case of the Moving Finger (1942)
  • Towards Zero/Come and be Hanged (1944)
  • Death Comes as the End (1944)
  • Sparkling Cyanide/Remembered Death (1945)
  • The Hollow/Murder After Hours (1946)
  • Taken at the Flood/There is a Tide (1948)
  • Crooked House (1949)
  • A Murder is Announced (1950)
  • They Came to Baghdad (1951)
  • Mrs McGinty's Dead/Blood Will Tell (1952)
  • They Do It with Mirrors/Murder with Mirrors (1952)
  • A Pocket Full of Rye (1953)
  • After the Funeral/Funerals are Fatal/Murder at the Gallop (1953)
  • Destination Unknown So Many Steps to Death (1954)
  • Hickory Dickory Dock/Hickory Dickory Death (1955)
  • Dead Man's Folly (1956)
  • 4.50 From Paddington/What Mrs. McGillycuddy Saw/Murder She Said (1957)
  • Ordeal by Innocence (1958)
  • Cat Among the Pigeons (1959)
  • The Pale Horse (1961)
  • The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side/The Mirror Crack'd (1962)
  • The Clocks (1963)
  • A Caribbean Mystery (1964)
  • At Bertram's Hotel (1965)
  • Third Girl (1966)
  • Endless Night (1967)
  • By the Pricking of My Thumbs (1968)
  • Hallowe'en Party (1969)
  • Passenger to Frankfurt (1970)
  • Nemesis (1971)
  • Elephants Can Remember (1972)
  • Postern of Fate (1973)
  • Curtain (1975)
  • Sleeping Murder (1976)

Novels as Mary Westmacott

  • Giant's Bread (1930)
  • Unfinished Portrait (1934)
  • Absent in the Spring (1944)
  • The Rose and the Yew Tree (1948)
  • A Daughter's a Daughter (1952)
  • The Burden (1956)

Collections of short stories as Agatha Christie

  • Poirot Investigates (1924)
  • Partners in Crime (1929)
  • The Mysterious Mr. Quin (1930)
  • The Thirteen Problems (1932)
  • The Hound of Death (1933)
  • Parker Pyne Investigates (1934)
  • The Listerdale mystery (1934)
  • Murder in the Mews (1937)
  • Regatta Mystery and Other Stories (1939)
  • The Labours of Hercules (1947)
  • The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories (1948)
  • Three Blind Mice and Other Stories (1950)
  • The Under Dog and Other Stories (1951)
  • The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (1960)
  • Double Sin and Other Stories (1961)
  • The Golden Ball and Other Stories (1971)
  • Poirot's Early Cases (1974)
  • Miss Marple's Final Cases and Two Other Stories (1979)
  • Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories (1991)
  • The Harlequin Tea Set (1997)
  • While the Light Lasts and Other Stories (1997)

Collaborations

  • Behind The Screen (1930) with Hugh Walpole, Dorothy L. Sayers, Anthony Berkeley, E. C. Bentley and Ronald Knox of the Detection Club. Published in 1983 in The Scoop and Behind The Screen.
  • The Scoop (1931) with Dorothy L. Sayers, E. C. Bentley, Anthony Berkeley, Freeman Wills Crofts and Clemence Dane of the Detection Club. Published in 1983 in The Scoop and Behind The Screen.
  • The Floating Admiral (1931) with G. K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers and certain other members of the Detection Club.

Plays

  • Alibi (1928)
  • Black Coffee (1930)
  • Love from a Stranger (1936)
  • A Daughter's a Daughter (1937 or 1939)
  • Peril at End House (1940)
  • Ten Little Indians (1943)
  • Appointment with Death (1945)
  • Murder on the Nile/Hidden Horizon (1946)
  • Murder at the Vicarage (1949)
  • The Hollow (1951)
  • The Mousetrap (1952)
  • Witness for the Prosecution (1953)
  • Spider's Web (1954)
  • Towards Zero (1956)
  • Verdict (1958)
  • The Unexpected Guest (1958)
  • Go Back for Murder (1960)
  • Rule of Three (1962)
  • Fiddler's Three (1972)
  • Aknaton (1973, written in 1937)
  • A Murder is Announced (1977)
  • Cards on the Table (1981)
  • Problem at Pollensa Bay (1992)
  • Murder is Easy (1993)
  • And Then There Were None (2005)

Radio Plays

  • Yellow Iris (1937)
  • Three Blind Mice (1947)
  • Butter In a Lordly Dish (1948)
  • Personal Call (1960)

Television Plays

  • Wasp's Nest (1937)

Non fiction

  • Come Tell Me How You Live (1946)
  • Agatha Christie: An Autobiography (1977)

Poetry

  • The Road of Dreams (1925)
  • Star Over Bethlehem and other stories (1965) Christmas stories and poems for children
  • Poems (1973)

Genre

Christie wrote the vast majority of her books within the detective fiction and mystery genres.

References