Agatha Christie: Life and Career

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  • Topic: Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple
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  • Published : February 25, 2013
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Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, DBE (née Miller; 15 September 1890 – 12 January 1976) was a British crime writer of novels, short stories, and plays. She also wrote six romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but she is best remembered for the 66 detective novels and more than 15 short story collections she wrote under her own name, most of which revolve around the investigations of such characters as Hercule Poirot, Miss Jane Marple and Tommy and Tuppence. Christie had long been a fan of detective novels, having enjoyed Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White and The Moonstone as well as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's early Sherlock Holmesstories. Deciding to write her own detective novel, entitled The Mysterious Affair at Styles, she created a detective named Hercule Poirot to be her protagonist. A former Belgian police officer noted for his twirly moustache and egg-shaped head, Poirot had been a refugee who had fled to Britain following Germany's invasion of Belgium; in this manner, Christie had been influenced by the Belgian refugees whom she had encountered in Torquay.[28] After unsuccessfully sending her manuscript to such publishing companies asHodder and Stoughton and Methuen, she sent it to John Lane at The Bodley Head, who kept it for several months before announcing that the press would publish it on the condition that Christie agreed to change the ending. She duly did so, and signed a contract with Lane that she would later claim was exploitative.[29] Christie meanwhile settled into married life, giving birth to a daughter named Rosalind at Ashfield, where the couple – having few friends in London – spent much of their time.[30] Having left the Air Force at the end of the war, Archie gained a job in the City working in the financial sector, and although he started out on a relatively low salary, he was still able to employ a maid for his family.[31] Christie's second novel, The Secret Adversary (1922), featured new protagonists in the form of detective...
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