Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born in Torquay, Devon, England, U.K., as the youngest of three. The Millers had two other children: Margaret Frary Miller (1879–1950), called Madge, who was eleven years Agathas senior, and Louis Montant Miller (1880–1929), called Monty, ten years older than Agatha.During the First World War, she worked at a hospital as a nurse- later working at a hospital pharmacy, a job that influenced her work, as many of the murders in her books are carried out with poison.On Christmas Eve 1914 Agatha married Archibald Christie, an aviator in the Royal Flying Corps.
The couple had one daughter, Rosalind Hicks. They divorced in 1928, two years after Christie discovered her husband was having an affair.Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, came out in 1920. During this marriage, Agatha published six novels, a collection of short stories, and a number of short stories in magazines.In late 1926, Agathas husband, Archie, revealed that he was in love with another woman, Nancy Neele, and wanted a divorce. On 8 December 1926 the couple quarreled, and Archie Christie left their house Styles in Sunningdale, Berkshire, to spend the weekend with his mistress at Godalming, Surrey.
That same evening Agatha disappeared from her home, leaving behind a letter for her secretary saying that she was going to Yorkshire. Her disappearance caused an outcry from the public, many of whom were admirers of her novels. Despite a massive manhunt, she was not found for eleven days.In 1930, Christie married archaeologist Max Mallowan (Sir Max from 1968) after joining him in an archaeological dig. Their marriage was especially happy in the early years and remained so until Christies death in 1976. In 1977, Mallowan married his longtime associate, Barbara Parker.Christie frequently used familiar settings for her stories.
Christies travels with Mallowan contributed background to several of her novels set in the Middle East. Other novels (such as And Then There Were None) were set in and around Torquay, where she was born. Christies 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Express was written in the Hotel Pera Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, the southern terminus of the railway. The hotel maintains Christies room as a memorial to the author.
The Greenway Estate in Devon, acquired by the couple as a summer residence in 1938, is now in the care of the National Trust.Christie often stayed at Abney Hall in Cheshire, which was owned by her brother-in-law, James Watts. She based at least two of her stories on the hall: the short story The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, which is in the story collection of the same name, and the novel After the Funeral. Abney became Agathas greatest inspiration for country-house life, with all the servants and grandeur which have been woven into her plots.During the Second World War, Christie worked in the pharmacy at University College Hospital of University College, London, where she acquired a knowledge of poisons that she put to good use in her post-war crime novels.To honour her many literary works, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1956 New Year Honours.
The next year, she became the President of the Detection Club. In the 1971 New Year Honours she was promoted Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, three years after her husband had been knighted for his archeological work in 1968.https://us.macmillan.com/author/agatha...