Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller Christie Mallowan

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Agatha Christie is my favorite mystery writer. I have a full collection of her works including all novels, short stories, plays, poems, even her romance stories that were written under her pseudonym Mary Westmacott, plus many other miscellaneous articles written by her for newspapers and magazines. While I have always loved and read her books, I always got them from the library. It wasn’t until 1990 that Dave and Dan bought me my first books for Christmas that year. I was hooked and the rest is history . . .

I wanted to share a brief biography of this great writer with everyone. If you have never read an Agatha Christie novel, it’s high time you did.  They are clean, easy to read and wildly intriquing stories.

In September 15, 1890 Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born in Torquay, Devonshire, England, the second daughter of Frederick Alvah and Clairissa Miller.  She was the youngest of their three children.

When she was six years old Agatha’s father became very ill and the family moved to the south of France where the climate was more favorable.  Here young Agatha learned to speak French.  Her father died of pneumonia when she was 11 years old.

She began writing stories and poetry at age 12 which salved the loss of her father.  Her Mother encouraged her to submit her work to newspapers and magazines.  At age 15 Agatha was sent to boarding shcool in Paris where she continue to write and her express herself prolifically.

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Agatha met and married Archibald Christie whe2n she was 24 years old. In 1914, when World War I broke out, she had only been married two days when her husband was called to France to serve in the RAF. Agatha occupied her time working as a volunteer nurse in a hospital. This is where she learned so much about poisons, which figured in so many of her stories.  In 1919, her only child, Rosalind was born.  She was later divorced from Archie Christie.

When she was 26, Agatha Christie finally published her first book called “The Mysterious Affair at Styles” after many submissions to different publishers.  Thereafter she published 66 novels and a varied number of other works.

When Agatha Christie married Max Mallowan, a reknowned archeologist, they spent a years in the middle east and surrounds. Many of her themes and stories were set in these climates, including “They Came to Baghdad,” “Death On the Nile,” and a play called “Akhnaton.”

In 1956 the Queen Elizabeth honored Agatha as a Dame with the “Commander of the Order of the British Empire.”  In 1960, her husband was given the same honor for his excellent archeological work.

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Agatha Christie died on January 12th, 1976.  She has sold more books than any other individual writer in history.  (There is some controversy whether she really outdistanced Shakespeare considering he had a 350 year headstart.)   One billion copies of her stories in English and another one billion in 103 other languages have been sold.

Do you like mystery stories?  If so, who are your favorite authors?

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5 responses to this post.

  1. I have always loved a great mystery, and as a child loved to read the Trixie Belden series, and pretty much any kind of mystery book I could get my hands on. I enjoy a lot of the mystery/thrillers from Grisham, but frankly I’m not sure if I have a favorite mystery writer. I think my love of true crime bovels stems from a love of mysteries since as you read your not always sure of the ending and what the motive etc were. I have enjoyed reading John Douglas’s books about his cases in the Behavioral Science Unit at the FBI, in particular the one that talked about a few of the famous cases in history like OJ, JonBenet, Jack the Ripper, Lizze Borden and such, and what he thought, and who he thought did it. It was fascinating, although a bit grim sometimes, but it was an interesting read nonetheless. I have never read any of Agatha Christie’s books, but I will add them to my list and give it a go, what have I got to lose!

    Reply

  2. I never understood how much you liked Agatha Christie until right now.

    Reply

  3. I love mysteries when I was young my dad would read us Sherlock Holmes stories and 2 min. mysteries. I should get some of Agatha Christies books I am sure I would Love them.

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  4. I am Gary’s mother. (Heidi’s mother-in law). I too love mysteries and started reading Agatha Christie as a teenager. I also like Mary Roberts Rhinehart. I probably started with the Trixie Beldon mysteries, then to Nancy Drew and on to Agatha Christie. Have you ever read any of Sax Rohmer’s Dr. Fu Manchu books? My favorite current mystery writer is Mary Higgens Clark. I also like John Grisham’s books.

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  5. Hi Pat, welcome to my blog. Fun to hear from you.
    I have gotten a kick out of some of the remarks you
    have left on other blogs, so am thrilled to see you.
    Yes, I loved Nancy Drew and sure do like John Grisham,
    read all his so far. I also like Diane Mott Davidson and
    her Goldy, the Caterer series, all based on cooking crimes.
    I have not read the Sax Rohmer stories, but I sure have
    sold a lot of them on eBay from time to time.
    Look forward to hearing more from you in the blog.

    Reply

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