23rd May 2024
Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

‘Plots come to me at such odd moments, when I am walking along the street, or examining a hat shop…suddenly a splendid idea comes into my head.’ – Agatha Christie, An Autobiography

Agatha Christie is a name that never misses when it comes to detective novels. Most of us have grown up reading her mysteries. Regarded as ‘the undoubted queen of her profession’, Christie took crime literature to almost every reading nook and corner of the world. She gave English literature two of its earliest and earnestly-followed detectives, Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple.

Dame Agatha Christie (1890–1976) spent her childhood around imaginary characters. She picked up reading at the age of five, despite her mother’s wishes. She grew up reading mystery-writers Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Wilkie Collins. Young Christie started putting her stories to paper as a way of killing time, when she was bedridden with flu.

But it wasn’t until her sister’s challenge that she took to writing detective stories, ultimately finding her flair for it. Her vast literary career comprises 73 novels – 66 of which were mysteries – 28 short story collections and 16 plays, 3 poems and 2 autobiographical works, apart from her contributions as an editor and for the radio.

Agatha Christie entered Guinness World Records as the best-selling author of all time. Her books have sold more than 2 billion copies, becoming the third most-widely published works in the world, falling behind only the Bible and the works of Shakespeare. She is also currently the world’s most-translated individual author, with her works in more than a hundred languages.

Her novel And Then There Were None (1939) is her best-selling work, with more than a 100 million copies sold till date. Besides being the world’s greatest mystery till date in terms of sales – and undoubtedly one of the best-sellers of all time – And Then There Were None is also the world’s most favourite among Christie’s novels.

Christie’s play The Mousetrap (1952) holds the record for the most-staged play. The murder mystery crossed its 25,000-mark in 2015.

Agatha Christie, who is deemed ‘a towering figure in the history of crime literature’, was born on this day, the 15th of September, in 1890.

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