Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie


9/15/1890, Torquay, Devon, England



Birth Name

Agatha May Clarissa Miller



Also Known As

Mary Westmacott, Dame Agatha Christie
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Agatha Christie was the younger child of Frederick Alvah Miller, a well-to-do American business man living in England, and his Anglo-Irish wife, Clarissa Boehmer (1855-1926), called Clara, who wrote stories and poetry. Agatha had a sister, Margaret Frary Miller (1879-1950), called Madge, twelve years her senior, and a…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Agatha Christie and her husband Max are buried at St Mary's Church, Cholsey, Berkshire.

    • Agatha Christie was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1950. She received an honorary degree (Doctor of Letters) from the University of Exeter in 1961.

    • From the 1930s until her death, Agatha Christie had two country houses, Winterbrook House, near Wallingford, Berkshire, bought in 1934, and Greenway House in Devon, with about two hundred and fifty acres, bought in 1938. The house in Devon is still owned by her daughter and grandson.

    • Christie's work has built a huge fortune for her family: her daughter and grandson are said to be worth more than six hundred million pounds sterling, or well over a billion U.S. dollars.

    • Agatha's play The Mousetrap is now the longest continuously-running stage production in history, having opened in 1952.

    • Under her own name, Agatha wrote seventy-eight thrillers, nineteen plays, two autobiographies, one book for children, and over a hundred short stories. As Mary Westmacott, she also published six romantic novels.

    • Agatha met her second husband, the archaeologist Max Mallowan, while he was digging at Ur in what is now Iraq. He was a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and fourteen years younger than Agatha.

    • In December 1926, Agatha crashed her car in Berkshire and vanished without trace. She was missing for eleven days, causing a sensation. Her husband was suspected of murder, but then Agatha was found alive and well staying in Harrogate under the name of her husband's mistress. Archie and Agatha soon separated. Her family claimed it was a case of amnesia, but the episode remains a mystery.

    • Agatha had only one child, Rosalind Christie, born in 1919. Rosalind also had one child, Matthew Pritchard, born in 1943, who now controls his grandmother's literary estate.

    • During the first world war, Agatha worked in a hospital dispensary. When some arsenic was stolen, it gave her the idea for her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, and Hercule Poirot was born.

    • At the age of nineteen, Agatha got engaged to Major Reginald Lucy, of the Royal Artillery. However, in 1914 she married Archie Christie, an officer in the Royal Field Artillery. In 1928, they got divorced, and in 1930 Agatha married Max Mallowan (later Sir Max), an archaeologist.

    • Agatha's father, Frederick Alvah Miller, was an American business man living in England, while her mother Clarissa (Clara) Boehmer was born in Ireland.

    • When Agatha was eleven, her father died and she struck up a friendship with the novelist Eden Phillpotts, who lived near her mother's house in Devon.

    • Agatha and her sister did not go to school - instead, they had tutors at home. At the age of seventeen, Agatha went for a year to a 'finishing school' in Paris.

    • She grew up on the outskirts of the seaside town of Torquay, in Devon.

    • Agatha was the youngest of three children. Her sister Margaret (Madge) was twelve years older than agatha and her brother Louis Montant (Monty) was ten years older.

    • Christie was named a Dame of the Order of the British Empire in 1971.

    • Agatha Christie's books have been translated into more than 100 languages.

    • Estimates state that nearly two billion copies of Agatha Christie books have been printed.

  • Quotes

    • Agatha Christie: An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have: the older she gets, the more interested he is in her.

    • Agatha Christie: The popular idea that a child forgets easily is not an accurate one.

    • Agatha Christie: I have always admired the Esquimaux. One fine day a delicious meal is cooked for dear old mother, and then she goes walking away over the ice and doesn't come back.

    • Agatha Christie: If you don't see what a thing means, you must be looking at it the wrong way around.

    • Agatha Christie: The human mind prefers to be spoon-fed with the thoughts of others, but deprived of such nourishment it will, reluctantly, begin to think for itself - and such thinking, remember, is original thinking and may have valuable results.

    • Agatha Christie: Everything that has existed lingers in the Eternity.

    • Agatha Christie: Very few of us are what we seem.

    • Agatha Christie: Dogs are wise.

    • Agatha Christie: No country can be described as free - but each has different degrees of bondage.

    • Agatha Christie: Your travel life has the aspect of a dream. It is something outside the normal, yet you are in it. It is peopled with characters you have never seen before and in all probability will never see again. It brings occasional homesickness, and loneliness, and pangs of longing... But you are like the Vikings who have gone into a world of adventure, and home is not home until you return.

    • Agatha Christie: One is left with the horrible feeling now that war settles nothing; that to win a war is as disastrous as to lose one.

    • Agatha Christie: I live now on borrowed time, waiting in the anteroom for the summons that will inevitably come. And then I go on to the next thing, whatever it is. One doesn't luckily have to bother about that.

    • Agatha Christie: A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world.

    • Agatha Christie: I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming that comes when you finish the life of the emotions and of personal relations; and suddenly find - at the age of fifty, say - that a whole new life has opened before you, filled with things you can think about, study, or read about... It is as if a fresh sap of ideas and thoughts was rising in you.

    • Agatha Christie: There is nothing so dangerous for anyone who has something to hide as conversation!

    • Agatha Christie: The best time to plan a book is while you're doing the dishes.

    • Agatha Christie: Never do anything yourself that others can do for you.

    • Agatha Christie: If one sticks too rigidly to one's principles, one would hardly see anybody.

    • Agatha Christie: Crime is terribly revealing. Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions.

    • Agatha Christie: Every murderer is probably somebody's old friend.

    • Agatha Christie: I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.

    • Agatha Christie: Any woman can fool a man if she wants to and if he's in love with her.

    • Agatha Christie: I specialize in murders of quiet, domestic interest.

    • Agatha Christie: It is ridiculous to set a detective story in New York City. New York City is itself a detective story.

    • Agatha Christie: Most successes are unhappy. That's why they are successes - they have to reassure themselves about themselves by achieving something that the world will notice.

    • Agatha Christie: One doesn't recognize the really important moments in one's life until it's too late.

    • Agatha Christie: The happy people are failures because they are on such good terms with themselves they don't give a damn.

    • Agatha Christie: There is nothing more thrilling in this world, I think, than having a child that is yours, and yet is mysteriously a stranger.

    • Agatha Christie: Where large sums of money are concerned, it is advisable to trust nobody.

    • Agatha Christie: A human being cannot resist the opportunity to reveal himself and express his personality which conversation gives him. Every time he will give himself away.