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Monday, 27 December 2010

Something a bit different ..

"Years end is neither an end nor a beginning, but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us."
(Hal Borland quotes)  This quote has nothing to do with what I'm going to write about today, but I thought it was rather appropriate as we near the end of another year.


Today, I am going to go away from the holiday season for a moment and write about a famous author that comes from Devon, my home county.  The author's name is Agatha Christie, (otherwise known as the queen of crime) and I'm sure you have all heard of her two most famous creations, i.e. Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot.

She was actually born in Torquay (otherwise known as the English Riviera), which is some 27 miles away from where I live. 


Although Agatha had amused herself as a child, acting out stories and make believe, it wasn't until one of her sisters challenged her to write a novel, that her writing career really began.  During the war, she became a voluntary nurse at The Red Cross Hospital in Torquay, and ended up working in the Dispensary, which she very much enjoyed, and she completed  the Examination of the Society of Apothacaries.  It was here that she acquired her knowledge of poisons which, of course, became such an important feature of her various books.

When her first book was published (The Mysterious Affair at Styles) , the murder by poison was so well described that Agatha received the unprecedented honour of a review in the Pharmaceutical Journal.

Agatha's happiness was complete when her only daughter (Rosalind) was born in 1919, but by the year 1926, her life was in tatters.  Her beloved mother had died and her husband left her for another woman. 

In fact, that same year, Agatha  Christie created her very own real-life mystery, when she disappeared for eleven days.  The time was 9.45 p.m. on the evening of the 3rd December, when, without warning, she simply disappeared after going upstairs to kiss her sleeping daughter. 

She was very famous by then, and throughout her disappearance, the whole country buzzed with theories about what might have happened to her.  Such was the speculation, that the Home Secretary at the time put pressure on the Police to make faster progress.  They even called on the services of two famous crime writers, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creater of Sherlock Holmes and Dorothy L. Sayers, author of the Lord Peter Wimsey series.  

Agatha was eventually found safe and well, but in very strange circumstances.  Alone, and using an assumed name, she had been living at a spa hotel in Harrogate since the day after her disappearance, even though news of her case had reached as far as the front page of The New York Times.

There was a happy ending to her story, in that in 1928, she met and married Sir Max Mallowen, a renowed Archeologist.  With billions of her books being sold and translated into many languages, Agatha  Christie became the best selling English novelist of all time.  

Her home, "Greenaways" situated overlooking the picturesque River Dart here in Devon, is now owned by The National Trust and is visited by many thousands of people each year. 






26 comments:

Gawgus things... said...

I absolutely love Agatha Christie's writing although I must confess to never having read one of her books and only having seen the adaptations on TV...

SkippyMom said...

The Hercule Poirot stories are my FAVORITES! I could read them again and again. :) What a wonderful post about such a great lady.

Thanks for sharing!

Harman said...

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Odie Langley said...

Great to know more about her. Makes looking at her works seem more interesting.
Odie

Shady Del Knight said...

That's an informative article, Thisisme. I didn't know any of those facts about her life. While watching mystery themed TV shows and movies over the years I have noticed that not all murder methods are created equal. We regard as loathsome murders that are commited with guns and knives, but poisoning somebody to death somehow seems more acceptable. It is often made to appear comical or mischievous particularly if it's an old woman doing the dirty deed. A very interesting post, Thisisme, and a refreshing break from holiday hoopla!

Thisisme said...

SkippyMom - glad you like Poirot!! I must admit I love watching the television adaptations. Takes me back to a much gentler world somehow. (Well, apart from all the murders of course! lol!!).

Thisisme said...

Gawgus things - I think most people like watching the TV stories.

Thisisme said...

Harman - thank you so much for visiting my Blog,. I will pop over to yours shortly!

Thisisme said...

Odie - thanks for your comment, as always. Hopefully you are still nice and peaceful over there!

Thisisme said...

Shady, actually your comment is so true. I hadn't thought about it before, but we do see certain murders as horrific, but others more acceptable, because they seem more gentle (I'm sure that's not the right word, but you will know what I mean!!).

Bouncin' Barb said...

Love this post This. Agatha Christie is one of my old favorites. I'm not much into reading her any longer but do love the old tv movies. One book of hers that I read and loved when I was a teenager was Ten Little Indians. The movie was with Hugh O'Brien but it wasn't as good as the book. Rarely are they as good as the book right? And another reason someday I'm going to come visit you!! Hugs.

bruce said...

Popped over from Barbs site...

think i will stay a while...

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TinaM said...

Very interesting! Of course I've heard of her, but never knew all of this (and sadly never read any of her books- but that is going to change!)

Just hopped over from Bouncin' Barbs blog to say Congrats on the award!!!

Thisisme said...

Bouncin'Barb. No! I'm going to visit you first! Wouldn't that be fun!!

Thisisme said...

Hi TinaM - thank you so much for popping over. I will look forward to reading your Blog in a moment!

Thisisme said...

Bruce - hi there. Nice to meet you and thank you for popping over to my Blog. Thanks also for instigating the Petey Award, which I was proud to receive!

Thisisme said...

Hi there TinaM. Thanks so much for popping over to my Blog and thanks for the congrats on my Award! I look forward to visiting you.

Belle said...

I've read all her books over the years. It was interesting to read about her life. I'm glad she found love after her first husband left her.

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

great post about agatha christie. loved her books and loved the television adaptations.

england is full of such great history. would love to visit there someday.

Harman said...

thanks thisisme for your visit on my blog..
keep visiting..
take care

caterpillar said...

I loved the short stories by her....it was nice to know about her...

lyndylou said...

Her books are excellent. It's great to read more about her from someone who lives in the area where she grew up :)

Thisisme said...

lyndylou = I'm glad you like her books and good to hear from you. I hope it's not too cold up there in Scotland. I'm right down in the opposite end to you in deepest Devon!

Thisisme said...

Belle - yes, she was very happy with her second husband and travelled all over the world with him, as he was an Archaeologist.

Thisisme said...

Teresa - it would be wonderful if you could get across to England one day. I know you would love it! I'm actually going to look forward to watching a new Miss Marple drama on the TV in a moment.

Thisisme said...

Cat - thank you for your comment and I'm glad that you enjoyed her short stories.,