Born on September 15, 1890, Agatha Christie was an English novelist and playwright whose books have sold more than 100 million copies and been translated into about 100 languages.
Educated at home by her mother, Christie began writing detective fiction while working as a nurse during the First World War. Her first novel, titled The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920), has as its main character the eccentric Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. The character of Poirot would reappear in 25 novels and many short stories.
Old Miss Jane Marple, the other main character used by Agatha, first appeared in Murder at the Vicarage (1930). The author’s first major recognition came with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926), followed by about 75 novels that sold very well.
Agatha Christie he was also successful on stage
Among the plays written by Christie are The Mousetrap (1952), which set a world record for the longest continuous run at one theater (8,862 performances—more than 21 years—at the Ambassadors Theatre, London) before moving in 1974 to St Martin’s Theatre, where it continued to run non-stop until the COVID-19 pandemic closed theaters in 2020, by which time it had surpassed 28,200 performances.
His works have also been adapted for the big screen, starting with Witness for the Prosecution (written in 1953 and adapted to film in 1957). Adaptations continued with And Then There Were None (1939; film 1945), Murder on the Orient Express (1933; film 1974 and 2017), Death on the Nile (1937; 1978 film) and The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side (1952; 1980 film).
The author’s life was a complicated one
In 1926, the author’s mother died and her husband, Colonel Archibald Christie, filed for divorce. In a move she never fully explained, Christie disappeared and, after a few highly publicized days, was discovered staying in a hotel under the name of the woman her ex-husband wanted to propose to.
In 1930, Christie married archaeologist Sir Max Mallowan. They spent several months each year on expeditions to Iraq and Syria. Christie also wrote novels that were not detective stories, such as Absent in the Spring (1944), under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott.
She was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1971, a few years before she died on 12 January 1976, according to Britannica.