Agatha Christie research paper due and don’t know how to start it? How about like this?
Although an autobiography and several biographies have been published, Agatha Christie valued her privacy and rarely granted interviews. Even today, an air of mystery lingers over her memory and her life. She felt that writers should be judged by their work, not by who they are. While we as a society certainly praise her for her brilliant work, we can't help but be somewhat curious about the woman behind the pages...
Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller Christie Mallowan was born 15 September 1890 at Ashfield, her family's home in the seaside resort of Torquay, Devon. Her parents home-schooled her until the time she left the coziness of her hometown and attended a finishing school in the vibrant city of Paris. There, she exhibited more talent as a singer and pianist, than as a writer.
Agatha Christie's Early Years and Work
In 1913, Agatha met Archibald Christie, a young army officer, and they were married on Christmas Eve in 1914. They were separated for most of WWI, and eventually divorced. However, prior to the divorce and the tragic death of her mother, both of which occurred in 1928, Agatha spent her time volunteering as a nurse at local hospitals. This is where her knowledge of poisons, as well as her fascination for them, emerged. After the war, Archie Christie went into business in London, while Agatha stayed at home with their daughter Rosalind, born in 1919. In 1920, Agatha submitted her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles featuring the eccentric Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, to four publishers. Only one accepted the book, with met with moderate success. It wasn't however until 1926, upon the publication of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd that Christie's work first gained major recognition. The publication of this taut mystery novel, with its controversial and wholly unanticipated ending, catapulted Christie into full-fledged literary stardom. She went on to write nearly eighty novels in her career and more than a hundred short stories.
Some of her last novels and stories were:
- 1963 The Clocks
- 1964 A Caribbean Mystery
- 1965 At Bertram's Hotel
- 1966 Third Girl
- 1967 Endless Night
- 1968 By the Pricking of My Thumbs
- 1969 Hallowe'en Party
- 1970 Passenger to Frankfurt
- 1971 Nemesis
- 1972 Elephants Can Remember
- 1973 Postern of Fate (final Tommy and Tuppence, last novel Christie wrote)
- 1975 Curtain (Poirot's last case, written four decades earlier)
- 1976 Sleeping Murder (Miss Marple's last case, written four decades earlier)
Agatha Christie's Plays
During the early 1950s, Christie's "other" career as a playwright, reached its peak with the production of 'The Mousetrap' and 'Witness for the Prosecution' in London in 1952 and 1953. "The Mousetrap" has been running continuously in London's West End since opening night in 1952 and has become the world's longest-running play. After a leg injury in 1971, Christie's health began to fail, and the frequency of her books declined. Her last formal public appearance was in 1974 at the opening of the film 'Murder on the Orient Express', which was attended by Queen Elizabeth and members of the royal family. Agatha Christie died at her home at Wallingford, Berkshire, on January 12, 1976, and was buried in a private ceremony at St. Mary's Churchyard, Cholsey, Berkshire four days later.