Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born on 15 September 1890 in Torquay, Devon, South West
England. Agatha loved to read English poetry and began writing poems when she was a child.
In 1912 Agatha met Archie Christie, a qualified aviator who had applied to join the Royal Flying Corps,
they soon married. It was war time and Agatha became a nurse at the Red Cross Hospital in Torquay.
When the Hospital opened a dispensary, she accepted an offer to work there and completed the
examination of the Society of Apothecaries. Thus began her life long interest in the use of poisons.
From this came her first novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles. The method of death in this novel is
poison and was so well described that Agatha received an unprecedented honour for a writer of fiction
- a review in the Pharmaceutical Journal.
During the First World War there were Belgian refugees in most parts of the English countryside,
Torquay being no exception. Although he was not based on any particular person, Agatha thought
that a Belgian refugee, a former great Belgian policeman, would make an excellent detective for The
Mysterious Affair at Styles. Hercule Poirot was born.
1919 was a momentous year for Agatha. With the end of the war, Archie had found a job in the City
and they had just enough to rent a flat in London and later that year on the 5th August, Agatha gave
birth to their daughter, Rosalind. Also that year the publisher, John Lane, who had liked The
Mysterious Affair at Styles contracted Agatha to produce five more books. She went on to be one of
the first authors Penguin ever published, with fantastic results.
Following the war Agatha continued to write and to travel with Archie, though sadly they were later to
divorce and Agatha would remarry, Max Mallowan, the world famous archaeologist - a marriage that
would last forty-six years.
By 1930, having written several novels and short stories, Agatha created a new character to act as
sleuth. Miss Jane Marple was an amalgam of several old ladies Agatha used to meet in villages she
visited as a kid. When she created Miss Marple, Agatha did not expect her to become Poirot's rival,
but with The Murder at the Vicarage, Miss Marple’s first full-length outing, it appeared she had produced another
popular and enduring character.
One of Agatha’s lifelong ambitions had been to travel on the Orient Express; her first journey took
place in 1928. The atmosphere of the Middle East was not lost on Agatha, as can be recognised in
books such as Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, Murder in Mesopotamia,
Appointment With Death and They Came to Baghdad as well as many short stories.
After a hugely successful career and a very happy life Agatha died peacefully on 12 January 1976.
Agatha Christie Limited (ACL) has been managing the literary and media rights to Agatha Christie's works around the world since 1955, working with the best talents in film, television, publishing, stage and on digital platforms to ensure that Christie’s work continues to reach new audiences in innovative ways and to the highest standard. The company is managed by Christie’s great grandson James Prichard.