Lit eZine Vol 1 | p-16 | A WRITER’S LIFE | Agatha Christie



Agatha Christie, Author
Agatha Christie: Image from Wikimedia Commons

Writers are known to be a little weird, some more so than others. But there are those who actually live the life of their creation!

We are talking about Agatha Christie, best known for her 66 detective novels, 14 collections of short stories, as well as the world’s longest-running play – The Mousetrap.

Born Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller on 15 September 1890 in Torquay, Devon, she taught herself to read by the age of five, began writing poems while still a child, and was writing short stories by the time she was 18. She met and fell in love with Archibald ‘Archie’ Christie, a qualified aviator, in 1912 and married him on Christmas Eve in 1914. Agatha wrote her first detective novel during the first world war while Archie was away fighting in Europe.

Agatha Christie soon became a successful writer but her marriage broke down when Archie fell in love with a fellow golfer, Nancy Neale. What followed after could well be a part of her detective novels. One December night in 1926, after a fight with her husband who then left for the weekend, Agatha left her daughter with the maids and drove off into the night. Her car was found abandoned several miles away the next morning, the driver, Agatha herself, was missing and her suitcase left in the car added to the mystery. A grand search ensued and a reward was offered for any sighting or evidence and Agatha Christie became front page news.

Press and the public speculated about her disappearance and she was eventually found staying at a hotel in Harrogate under the name Theresa Neale. In a meeting full of drama, she was reading about her own disappearance in a newspaper in the hotel’s dining room and did not recognize her husband when he confronted her. Theories abound about the whole set of events but eventually, Archie declared his wife was suffering from amnesia. The couple separated soon after and Archie married Nancy Neale and Agatha married Sir Max Mallowan. The mystery of her disappearance was never truly solved.

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