Agatha Christie, Things I didn't know...
I love Agatha Christie novels. She is noted to be the most well known, well sold, well translated and prolific novelist of several generations.
Movies have been done about her. Books have been written about her. PBS has done a special on her life.
Of course her novels have been set to film as well as her short stories.
Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller Christie Mallowan, was an incredible woman.
Things i did not know :
- she had siblings, an older brother - Louis and sister - Madge
- she was educated at home until her father died when she was 11
- after her father's passing she was educated by tutors, governesses, and part time schooling
- she taught herself to read at 4or 5, because her mother would not, she thought children should save their eyesight until age 8
- went to finishing school in Paris
- her father was an American pilot, and man of independent means, who home schooled her in mathematics
- her older sister Madge was a published author
- Agatha's first detective novel was written because of a bet by Madge that she couldn't write a mystery, she wrote the Mysterious Affair at Styles, which took 4 to 5 years to publish, apparently she never backed down from challenges
- she was a nurse in WW1, at the Red Cross church in Torquay
- she became a dispensing chemist, dealing with pharmaceuticals, becoming knowledgeable about poisons at the hospital
- her favorite review was written in a medical magazine quote, "she knows her stuff - poisons" by the Pharmaceutical Journal
- wanted to be remembered as a good writer of mysteries and thrillers
- was a play wright, having three (3) plays in the theatre in London's west end
- wrote romance novels under the pseudonym, Mary Westmacott, a 20 year secret
- got tired of writing Hercule Poirot Mysteries, her famous waxed mustache wearing fastidious Belgian not French - froggie detective
- read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective stories featuring Sherlock Holmes
- loved archaeology, jigsaw puzzles and putting pieces of pottery together on digs
- wintered in Egypt as an adult
- was married twice, once to Archie Christie a pilot / aviator, who divorced her after disclosing he'd fallen in love and was having an affair, then to Max Mallowan, archaeologist
- had only one child, a daughter - Rosalind with Archie Christie, after five years of marriage
- was sent to Paris to study music to be a opera singer, but wouldn't perform because of severe stage fright
- loved playing the piano and singing
- hated dancing
- hated and refused to give speeches
- has the second highest printings in the world after the Christian Bible
- she has out sold Shakespeare
- wrote short stories as an adult and as a child
- has the longest running play called Mousetrap
- was a cougar, 14 years older than her second husband, Max, who she married 6 months after returning to England after her second dig at the location of Ur and her first meeting with him at the age of 40, ( Max followed her home, while supposedly she thought he would not be interested in an ' old woman')
- gave her grandson the rights to Mousetrap on his 10th birthday
- husband Max , knighted for archaeology, in 1968
- she was lady Agatha then was made Dame Commander, in 1971
- disappeared for 11 days, no reason ever cited but lots of speculation. It was something right out of her own novels. Woman disappears after husband announces in love with someone else, a younger woman, wants a divorce, is going off to meet woman for the weekend, etc, car left tossed, woman not found, turns up 11 days later at a Harrogate Spa, media speculated foul play, police say publicity stunt, Archie says to embarrass him, friends say suicide or nervous breakdown. Agatha NEVER says, and never mentions it again. Interesting discovery she registered at the hotel as Theresa Neele, Archie, her husband's mistress' name.
- Hercule Poirot, her Belgian detective, famous for saying, "little gray cells", featured in 33 novels and 54 short stories
- Miss Marple, her spinster sleuth famous for noticing human inconsistencies and thinking the worst of people was featured in 12 novels and 20 short stories
- Married to Max Mallowan for around 45 years until her death
- loved clouted cream with her tea and biscuits
- favorite color was green
- wrote a children's book
- known as the Queen of Crime
- Poirot is a retired police officer
- she loved Opera music - Wegner
What she loved
- her country home, Ashfield and Greenway Villa
- the color green
- clouted cream
- loved archaeology from childhood
What Agatha hated
- being called Aggie
- one of her first novels
- making speeches
- appearing on the stage
- polite English society on holiday
- being known for her romance novels
- people relating her to sleuth character Ms Marple of Mary Meade
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