75 Facts About Agatha Christie


Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, was an English writer known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, particularly those revolving around fictional detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.


Agatha Christie wrote the world's longest-running play, the murder mystery The Mousetrap, which has been performed in the West End since 1952.


Agatha Christie wrote six novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott.


Agatha Christie was born into a wealthy upper middle class family in Torquay, Devon, and was largely home-schooled.


Agatha Christie was initially an unsuccessful writer with six consecutive rejections, but this changed in 1920 when The Mysterious Affair at Styles, featuring detective Hercule Poirot, was published.


In 1955, Agatha Christie was the first recipient of the Mystery Writers of America's Grand Master Award.


Agatha Christie was the youngest of three children born to Frederick Alvah Miller, "a gentleman of substance", and his wife Clarissa Margaret "Clara" Miller, nee Boehmer.


Agatha Christie's mother Clara was born in Dublin in 1854 to British Army officer Frederick Boehmer and his wife Mary Ann Boehmer nee West.


Agatha Christie eventually made friends with other girls in Torquay, noting that "one of the highlights of my existence" was her appearance with them in a youth production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Yeomen of the Guard, in which she played the hero, Colonel Fairfax.


Agatha Christie's sister had been sent to a boarding school, but their mother insisted that Christie receive her education at home.


Agatha Christie later said that her father's death when she was 11 marked the end of her childhood.


Agatha Christie attended many dances and other social functions; she particularly enjoyed watching amateur polo matches.


Agatha Christie helped put on a play called The Blue Beard of Unhappiness with female friends.


At 18, Agatha Christie wrote her first short story, "The House of Beauty", while recovering in bed from an illness.


Around the same time, Agatha Christie began work on her first novel, Snow Upon the Desert.


Agatha Christie was disappointed when the six publishers she contacted declined the work.


Agatha Christie had short-lived relationships with four men and an engagement to another.


Agatha Christie involved herself in the war effort as a member of the Voluntary Aid Detachment of the Red Cross.


Agatha Christie had long been a fan of detective novels, having enjoyed Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White and The Moonstone, and Arthur Conan Doyle's early Sherlock Holmes stories.


Agatha Christie wrote her first detective novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in 1916.


Agatha Christie did so, and signed a contract committing her next five books to The Bodley Head, which she later felt was exploitative.


Agatha Christie settled into married life, giving birth to her only child, Rosalind Margaret Clarissa, in August 1919 at Ashfield.


Agatha Christie had fallen in love with Nancy Neele, a friend of Major Belcher.


Late that evening, Agatha Christie disappeared from their home in Sunningdale.


Agatha Christie's disappearance made international headlines, including featuring on the front page of The New York Times.


The next day, Agatha Christie left for her sister's residence at Abney Hall, Cheadle, where she was sequestered "in guarded hall, gates locked, telephone cut off, and callers turned away".


The author Jared Cade concluded that Agatha Christie planned the event to embarrass her husband but did not anticipate the resulting public melodrama.


In January 1927, Agatha Christie, looking "very pale", sailed with her daughter and secretary to Las Palmas, Canary Islands, to "complete her convalescence", returning three months later.


Agatha Christie petitioned for divorce and was granted a decree nisi against her husband in April 1928, which was made absolute in October 1928.


Agatha Christie retained custody of their daughter, Rosalind, and kept the Agatha Christie surname for her writing.


In 1928, Agatha Christie left England and took the Orient Express to Istanbul and then to Baghdad.


Agatha Christie accompanied Mallowan on his archaeological expeditions, and her travels with him contributed background to several of her novels set in the Middle East.


Agatha Christie drew on her experience of international train travel when writing her 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Express.


Agatha Christie led a quiet life despite being known in Wallingford; from 1951 to 1976 she served as president of the local amateur dramatic society.


Agatha Christie frequently stayed at Abney Hall, Cheshire, which was owned by her brother-in-law, James Watts, and based at least two stories there: a short story, "The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding", in the story collection of the same name and the novel After the Funeral.


MI5 was concerned that Agatha Christie had a spy in Britain's top-secret codebreaking centre, Bletchley Park.


Agatha Christie was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1950.


In honour of her many literary works, Agatha Christie was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1956 New Year Honours.


Agatha Christie was co-president of the Detection Club from 1958 to her death in 1976.


From 1971 to 1974, Agatha Christie's health began to fail, but she continued to write.


Agatha Christie was a lifelong, "quietly devout" member of the Church of England, attended church regularly, and kept her mother's copy of The Imitation of Christ by her bedside.


Agatha Christie was a shy person: she disliked public appearances; but she was friendly and sharp-witted to meet.


Agatha Christie was buried in the nearby churchyard of St Mary's, Cholsey, in a plot she had chosen with her husband 10 years previously.


Thirty wreaths adorned Agatha Christie's grave, including one from the cast of her long-running play The Mousetrap and one sent "on behalf of the multitude of grateful readers" by the Ulverscroft Large Print Book Publishers.


Agatha Christie sold an estimated 300 million books during her lifetime.


Agatha Christie's work continues to be developed in a range of adaptations.


Agatha Christie's first published book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was released in 1920 and introduced the detective Hercule Poirot, who appeared in 33 of her novels and more than 50 short stories.


Agatha Christie married off Poirot's "Watson", Captain Arthur Hastings, in an attempt to trim her cast commitments.


Agatha Christie said, "Miss Marple was not in any way a picture of my grandmother; she was far more fussy and spinsterish than my grandmother ever was," but her autobiography establishes a firm connection between the fictional character and Agatha Christie's step-grandmother Margaret Miller and her "Ealing cronies".


Agatha Christie had a heart attack and a serious fall in 1974, after which she was unable to write.


Agatha Christie's daughter authorised the publication of Curtain in 1975, and Sleeping Murder was published posthumously in 1976.


Agatha Christie never wrote a novel or short story featuring both Poirot and Miss Marple.


In 2013, the Agatha Christie family supported the release of a new Poirot story, The Monogram Murders, written by British author Sophie Hannah.


Agatha Christie developed her storytelling techniques during what has been called the "Golden Age" of detective fiction.


On Desert Island Discs in 2007, Brian Aldiss said Agatha Christie had told him she wrote her books up to the last chapter, then decided who the most unlikely suspect was, after which she would go back and make the necessary changes to "frame" that person.


Agatha Christie included stereotyped descriptions of characters in her work, especially before 1945, particularly in regard to Italians, Jews, and non-Europeans.


In 2023, the Telegraph reported that several Agatha Christie novels have been edited to remove potentially offensive language, including insults and references to ethnicity.


Agatha Christie treated their stories with a lighter touch, giving them a "dash and verve" which was not universally admired by critics.


The play enjoyed a respectable run, but Agatha Christie disliked the changes made to her work and, in future, preferred to write for the theatre herself.


Agatha Christie followed this up with adaptations of her detective novels: And Then There Were None in 1943, Appointment with Death in 1945, and The Hollow in 1951.


Agatha Christie became the first female playwright to have three plays running simultaneously in London: The Mousetrap, Witness for the Prosecution and Spider's Web.


Agatha Christie published six mainstream novels under the name Mary Westmacott, a pseudonym which gave her the freedom to explore "her most private and precious imaginative garden".


Agatha Christie was named "Best Writer of the Century" and the Hercule Poirot series of books was named "Best Series of the Century" at the 2000 Bouchercon World Mystery Convention.


In 2012, Agatha Christie was among the people selected by the artist Peter Blake to appear in a new version of his most famous work, the Beatles' Sgt.


Agatha Christie was the first crime writer to have 100,000 copies of 10 of her titles published by Penguin on the same day in 1948.


Agatha Christie is one of the most-borrowed authors in UK libraries.


In 2002,117,696 Christie audiobooks were sold, in comparison to 97,755 for JK Rowling, 78,770 for Roald Dahl and 75,841 for JR R Tolkien.


In 2015, the Agatha Christie estate claimed And Then There Were None was "the best-selling crime novel of all time", with approximately 100 million sales, making it one of the highest-selling books of all time.


Agatha Christie liked her acting, but considered the first film "pretty poor" and thought no better of the rest.


Agatha Christie felt differently about the 1974 film Murder on the Orient Express, directed by Sidney Lumet, which featured major stars and high production values; her attendance at the London premiere was one of her last public outings.


Agatha Christie's books have been adapted for BBC Radio, a video game series, and graphic novels.


Agatha Christie devoted time and effort each season in "making herself useful by photographing, cleaning, and recording finds; and restoring ceramics, which she especially enjoyed".


The film Agatha, with Vanessa Redgrave, has Christie sneaking away to plan revenge against her husband; Christie's heirs sued unsuccessfully to prevent the film's distribution.


The Doctor Who episode "The Unicorn and the Wasp" stars Fenella Woolgar as Agatha Christie, and explains her disappearance as being connected to aliens.


The American television program Unsolved Mysteries devoted a segment to her famous disappearance, with Agatha Christie portrayed by actress Tessa Pritchard.