the queen of crime
At age 30, Agatha Christie had to push through multiple rejections to get her first novel published. She received a pittance for her manuscript once it was finally accepted. However, during her lifetime, Agatha would achieve the status of pop culture icon as one of the world's greatest crime writers.
Through 66 thrilling novels, she popularized characters such as the dapper Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and the inquisitive spinster Miss Marple. Agatha has become the most widely translated and adapted, best-selling author of all time. International acclaim for her work hasn't died down since her death. Her estate still grosses nearly $70 million annually.
being the Queen of Crime | popular and prolific producer of detective fiction
unconventional crime-solvers | famous bachelor + spinster sleuths who were conspicuously not officers of the law
1920 | her first novel ~ The Mysterious Affair at Styles, which introduced Hercule Poirot ~ was published by The Bodley Head in London
1958 | Christie's play The Mousetrap became the longest running show in the history of British Theater, and it's still going - now surpassing 25,000 performances in total and grossing more than $8 million a year
1976 | made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of her unparalleled literary achievement, the same year in which the Guinness Book of World Records deemed her the best-selling author of all time
from | to
amateur playwright + housewife | best-selling writer of all time
September 15, 1890
Torquay, Devon, England
Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller
The United Kingdom
Clara Boehmer + Frederick Alvah Miller
Margaret Frary Miller + Louis Montant Miller
~ married 1914 - 1928 ~
~ an archaeologist | married in 1930 ~
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
in her spare time
wrote and acted in amateur theatricals
volunteered to administer to wounded soldiers during WWI
visited archeological sites to find new settings for her novels
January 12, 1976collapse bio bits
"It is completely unimportant...That is why it is so interesting."The Murder of Roger Ackroyd | 1926
"I do not argue with obstinate men. I act in spite of them."Hercule Poirot in The Mystery of the Blue Train | 1928
"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."Hercule Poirot in The ABC Murders | 1936
"What any woman saw in some particular man was beyond the comprehension of the average intelligent male. It just was so. A woman who could be intelligent about everything else in the world could be a complete fool when it came to some particular man."After the Funeral | 1953
"The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding is an indulgence of my own, since it recalls to me, very pleasurably, the Christmases of my youth."The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding | october 1960
"Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that's no reason not to give it."Agatha Christie: An Autobiography | january 1977
"I don't think necessity is the mother of invention — invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness."Agatha Christie: An Autobiography | 1977
"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly despairing, 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: An Autobiography | 1977
Agatha Christie as a child
A young Agatha sits for a portrait around the turn of the century.
Dodd, Mead and Co. | public domain
Mrs. Christie Disguised
This feature in a British tabloid illustrates for readers how Christie ~ who disappeared for 11 days in 1926 following the collapse of her first marriage ~ might have concealed her identity.
The Daily Mail
Agatha Christie with husband Max Mallowan (left) and lead archaeologist Leonard Woolley at Ur, south
When Agatha went on archeological expeditions with her second husband Max, she frequently dug up exotic settings and plots for her next novels.
The British Museum
The Queen greets Agatha Christie
The Queen of Crime Fiction meets the Queen of England. Agatha was deemed a Dame for her status as a national treasure.
The Royal Collection Trust