While celebrating her birth anniversary (September 15), we present some lesser known facts about the author who still has a strong fan-base
- Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, DBEwas an English crime novelist, short story writer and playwright best known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections.
- Christie has also been credited with writing the world’s longest-running play, a murder mystery, The Mousetrap. The play opened in London almost 63 years ago—on October 6, 1952, eight months before Elizabeth II’s coronation. It first opened at the Ambassadors Theatre, then it moved to the St Martin’s Theatre in 1974, and as of 2017 is still running after more than 25,000 performances. – pic mousetrap
- Apart from mysteries, which are still famous for her fictional detectives Hercule Poirotand Miss Marple Christie, Christie also wrote six romances under the name Mary Westmacott. She also wrote children’s stories, poetry and memoirs of her archaeological experiences in Iraq.
- In 1971 she was elevated to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire(DBE) for her contribution to literature.
- A 1959 UNESCO report claimed her books had been translated into 103 language, and to date she’s sold over two billion copies — more than the entire population of China and America combined.
- In 2009, HarperCollins published all of Christie’s Miss Marple stories in one volume comprising of 4,032 pages. The volume weighed over a whopping 8 Kg, cost an eye-watering £1,000 and also came with a carrying handle. According to the Guinness Book of Records, it is the thickest book in the world.
- Christies kept the death of Hercule Poirot secret for over 30 years. She wrote Curtain: Poirot’s Last Casein the early 1940s (the exact date is uncertain) and stored it in a bank vault, heavily insured against its destruction by Nazi bombs. Intending it to be published after her death, she was persuaded to release it in 1975 when it became clear she was too aged to write a new book for Christmas. And Poirot is the only fictional character to have an obituary written for him on the front page of the New York Times. It appeared on the front page of the paper on 6 August 1975.
- The popular Poirot was said to be based on a real person. Christie was said to have been inspired when she caught sight of a Belgian man de-boarding a bus in the early 1910s. He was reportedlya bit odd-looking, with a curious facial hair style and a quizzical expression. – pic poirot
- In 1926, Christie went missing for 11 days after her husband, Archie, confessed to his affair with a joint acquaintance. It was revealed by a newspaper that she was staying at the Hydro Hotel in Harrogate under a false name ‘Mrs Theresa Neele’. The doctors had then diagnosed her with amnesia, but she never publicly spoke about the missing days. Critics claimed it was a publicity stunt, but current thinking is she experienced the psychiatric disorder known as ‘dissociative fugue’ brought on by sudden huge stress.
- She wrote her first bookThe Mysterious Affair at Styles, featuring the popular Hercule Poirot,as the result of a challenge from her sister Madge. Miss Marple, who was introduced in the short-story collection The Thirteen Problems in 1927, was based on Christie’s grandmother and her “Ealing cronies”. Christie received £25 for her first story.
- There are at least 2 ‘unknown’ Agatha Christies – unpublished radio plays: Butter in a Lordly Dish (1948) andPersonal Call (1960).
- First Christie film adaptation was The Passing of Mr. Quinn, (based on The Coming of Mr Quin) in the year 1928. The first TV Miss Marple in 1956 was Gracie Fields in A Murder is Announced.
- She had worked in a dispensary during war time and had an intimate knowledgeof pharmaceuticals. Christie wasn’t big on violence and her preferred murder weapon in most of her mysteries was poison.
- Founded in 1928 by writer Anthony Berkeley, the London Detection Club, or Famous Detection Club, was a social assembly of the notable crime writers in England. Members “swore” to never keep vital clues from their readers and to never use entirely fictional poisons as a plot crutch. Christie was a memberand took on the role of honorary president in 1956 on one condition: She never wanted to give any speeches.
- After divorcing Archie, Christie married archaeologist Max Mallowan in 1930 and joined him for regular expeditions to Syria and Iraq. She has recounted her trips in the 1946 memoir Come, Tell Me How You Live.
- Fans of Agatha Christie can get a chance to stay in her old home in Devonshire, England which is available on rent. The centuries-old home was Christie’s summer getaway in the 1950s and portions of it are rented out to individuals or groups for $500 a night. It is believed the house still has some furniture and a piano that once belonged to the author.
- Some of her pre-1950s writing has also been criticised as anti-Semitic due the way Jewish characters are depicted.
- Agatha Christie died in 1976, at the age of 85.Years after Christie’s death, a fan purchased a trunk that had belonged to the author and found a mysterious locked box She declined to open it for four more years “because then the mystery would be over.”The box turned out to contain gold coins as well as diamond jewellery that sold at auction for more than $80,000 in 2014.
[alert type=”e.g. warning, danger, success, info” title=””]Chrisitie’s 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Express first adapted for the big screen came out it 1974. It featured Albert Finney as the suave detective Hercule Poirot. The movie is being remade again with Kenneth Branagh suiting up as Poirot. The movie also features Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Gad, Judi Dench, Willem Dafoe, and Penélope Cruz.