The Queen of Crime: Agatha Christie
I. Life and Career
A. Family background and Childhood
B. First marriage and the First World War
C. Christie’s first novels
E. Second marriage and later life
II. Famous Characters on her work
A. Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple
III. Archaeology and Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie is one of the most popular and best-known novelists ever, and her books have been translated into more languages than those of any other writer. Born Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller on 15 September 1890 in Torquay, England. She enjoyed a settled, comfortable childhood, her family, did not have to work for a living as they had a private income, and the family employed servants to help with the housework. Agatha later missed this easy way of life, which provided the background of her later life and stories. II. Body
Agatha Christie was born to a wealthy upper-middle-class family in Torquay, Devon in South West England. Christie’s mother, Clara, suffered under financial strain and she is sent to live with relations in the North of England, where she would meet her future husband, an American stockbroker named Frederick Alvah Miller. He soon developed a romantic relationship with Clara, and they were married in April 1878. Their first child Margaret Frary Miller was born when the couple were renting lodgings, while their second, Louis Montant was born In the U.S. state of New York, when Frederick was on a business trip. Clara soon purchased a villa, named “Ashfield”, and it was here that her third and final child, Agatha, was born. Christie would describe her childhood as “very happy”, her time was spent alternating between her grandmother’s home where her family would holiday during winter. She was also raised in a household with various esoteric beliefs, and they believe that their mother Clara was a psychic. Her mother did not believe that girls needed a formal education and so she was not sent to school. So her parents were responsible for teaching her to read and write, and to be able to perform basic arithmetic, a subject she particularly enjoyed. They also taught her about music, and she learned to play both the piano and mandolin. Much of her childhood was spent alone although she spent much time with her pets that she adored. Eventually making friends with a group of girls in Torquay, she noted that “one of the highlights of my existence” was her appearance in a local theatrical production of The Yeoman of the Guard where she starred alongside them. Agatha’s father was often ill, suffering from a series of heart attacks, and in November 1901 he died. His death left the family devastated. Agatha claims that her father’s death, occurring when she was 11 years old, marked the end of her childhood. Her mother Clara became restless and began to travel, taking Agatha with her. These early trips began Agatha’s lifelong love of travel.
In 1912 Agatha met Archibald “Archie” Christie at a dance given by Lord and Lady Clifford of Chudleigh, Archie is a qualified aviator who had applied to join the Royal Flying Corps. After a tempestuous romance, they married on Christmas Eve 1914, by special licence, with Archie returning to the war in France on Boxing Day. Agatha was not idle during the war. She became a nurse in the Voluntary Aid Detachment of the Red Cross Hospital in Torquay – ultimately working in the dispensary where she enjoyed the work and completed the examination of the Society of Apothecaries.
Christie had long been a fan of detective novels, her writing career really began after her sister Madge challenged her to write a novel. It took a several years to get her first book The Mysterious Affair at Styles published – with the publisher suggesting an alternative final chapter – but the reviews were kind and the murder by poison so well described that Agatha received the...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document