Agatha Christie was born on Sept. 15, 1890, Agatha May Clarissa Miller in Torquay, in the county of
Devon, as the daughter of Frederick Alvah Miller, an American with a moderate private income, and Clarissa
Miller. She was the youngest of three children. Her father died when she was a child. Taught at home by a
governess and tutors, as a child she never attended school. Her mother encouraged her to write from very
early age. At sixteen she was sent to school in Paris where she studied singing and piano. She was an
accomplished pianist but her stage fright and shyness prevented her from pursuing a career in music.
In 1914 Agatha Christie married Archibald Christie, an officer in the Flying Royal Corps; their daughter,
Rosalind, was born in 1919. During World War I she worked in a Red Cross Hospital in Torquayas a hospital
dispenser, which gave her a knowledge of poisons. It was to be useful when she started writing mysteries.
In 1926, Archie Christie asked for a divorce, having fallen in love with another woman. Agatha Christie, already upset by the recent
death of her mother, disappeared. All of England became wrapped up in the case of the now famous missing writer. She was found three
weeks later in a small hotel, explaining to police that she had lost her memory. Thereafter, it was never again mentioned or elaborated
upon by her.
She later found happiness with her marriage in 1930 to Max Mallowan, a young archaeologist who she met on a trip to Mesopotamia.
She had met him on her travels in Near East in 1927, and accompanied him on his excavations of sites in Syria and Iraq. Later Christie
used these exotic settings in her novels. Mallowan was Catholic and fourteen years her junior; he became one of the most prominent
archaeologist of his generation. Of her marriage the writer told reporters: "An archaeologist is the best husband any woman can have.
The older she gets, the more interested he is in her." Mallowan worked in Iraq in the 1950s but return to England, when her health grew
By 1955 she had become a limited company, Agatha Christie Ltd, which was acquired in the late 1960s by Booker Books. It had already
acquired Ian Fleming. In 1967 she became president of the British Detection Club. In 1971 she was awarded the high honor of becoming
a Dame of the British Empire. Agatha Christie died on January 12, 1976 in Wallingford, Oxforshire. Mallowan died two years later. With
over one hundred novels and over one hundred translations into foreign languages, she was by the time of her death the best-selling
English novelist of all time.
Hercule Poirot was an amiably comic character with egg-shaped head, eccentric whose friend Captain
Hastings represents the "idiot narrator" - familiar from Sherlock Holmes stories. Hercule Poirot draws
conclusions from observing people's conduct and from objects around him, creating a chain of facts that finally
reveal the murderer. '"He tapped his forehead. "These little gray cells. It is 'up to them' - as you say over here."'
Behind the apparently separate details is always a pattern, which only Hercule Poirot is able to see. Hercule
Poirot, a former policeman, was forced to flee his country after the German invasion of Belgium in 1914. His
assistant Captain Hastings married in the early 1930s and Poirot settled to London's Whitehaven Mansions.
Hercule Poirot is short - only five feet four inches tall. He has waxed moustache and small feet.
Miss Jane Marple, an elderly spinster, was a typical English character, but when Poirot used logic and rational
methods, Miss Marple relied on her feminine sensitivity and empathy to solve crimes. She was born and lived in
the village of St. Mary Mead. Both Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple did not have any family life, but Hercule Poirot
also travelled much. She was reportedly based on the author's own grandmother.
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Her first detective novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, introduced Hercule Poirot, the Belgian
detective, who appeared in more than 40 books. The manuscript was rejected at least six times by publishers.
Although it was completed in a year, it wasn't published until 1920, five years later. The Christies bought a
house and named it 'Styles' after the first novel.