Written by Saanchi Biyani, a grade 5 student.
Books and Dogs are considered to be one of the best friends of human beings. There is an adage, ‘A room without books is a body without soul’, while, ‘Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole’. I love both. I do not have a dog at home, but I have books – fiction, non-fiction, general knowledge, comics, among others.
I love reading books, do you? Some of my favourite books include, Judy Moody was in a mood by Peter H Reynolds, Mystery in Paris by Geronimo Stilton, The Mouse Island Marathon by Geronimo Stilton, The Wimpy Kid series, The man and his God by Sudha Murthy.
This article is however about Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan (Agatha Christie), best known for her detective novels, short story collections, plays, and famous detective sleuths. Have you heard about her? I had not heard about her but this research for this article helped me to get some facts about one of the best authors of her time.
Agatha Christie was born on 5 September 1890 in Torquay, Devon, England. The youngest of the three siblings, she was educated at home by her mother, who encouraged her to write, similar to I being encouraged by my father to write. Who knows, I could land up in her shoes one day? Growing up in Devon, Agatha taught herself to read by the age of five. While her two siblings were sent away for their education, Agatha was homeschooled by her parents, and from a young age, she enjoyed reading, writing poetry, and playing music. Her first husband was Archibald Christie; they married in 1914 and had one child before divorcing in 1928.
Agatha Christie, an English writer, wrote some 75 novels, including 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections.
She is perhaps the world’s most famous mystery writer and is one of the best-selling novelists of all time. She was initially an unsuccessful writer with six consecutive rejections, but this changed in 1920 when ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’, featuring detective Hercule Poirot, was published.
Christie’s novel ‘And ‘Then There Were None’ has sold some 100 million copies, making it one of the highest-selling books of all time. In 1955, she became the first recipient of the Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master Award.
In 2013, she was voted the best crime writer. Her book, ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’ was voted the best crime novel ever by about 600 novelists of the Crime Writers’ Association.
Then, in September 2015, ‘And Then There Were None’ was named the “World’s Favourite Christie”. Moreover, most of Christie’s books and short stories have been adapted, not only for television but also for the radio, video games, as well as graphic novels.
More than 30 feature films are based on her work. Some notable film adaptations included And Then There Were None (1939; film 1945), Murder on the Orient Express (1933; film 1974 and 2017), Death on the Nile (1937; film 1978), and The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side (1952; film [The Mirror Crack’d] 1980). She also wrote romantic non-detective novels, such as Absent in the Spring (1944), under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. Her Autobiography (1977) appeared posthumously
Damehood and Knighthood
The knighthood awards are the touch of a sword by the King or Queen. Men who receive this award are given the title Sir, while women receiving the honour are called Dame.
The honour is given to members who have made significant contributions to any activity, usually at the national level.
The two senior ranks of the Order of the British Empire are – Knight or Dame Grand Cross, and Knight or Dame Commander. People who are awarded these ranks then use the title of Sir (for men) and Dame (for women).
Christie’ss writing changed the genre of crime fiction and in January 1971, she was awarded a damehood for services to literature.
Christie and some interesting facts
- Christie never went to school.
- Christie worked in a hospital dispensary during World War One, thereby gaining her knowledge of poisons.
- Christie invented two beloved detectives. Her creation Mrs. Ariadne Oliver, the detective novelist, is seen as her alter-ego
- She’s responsible for the world’s longest-running play, The Mousetrap.
- Christie spent many years assisting her second husband archaeologist Max Mallowan, during which she became an expert photographer.
- It is possible to read a different Agatha Christie book every month for seven years.
- Christie was a Times crossword fan.
- Christie’s ‘An Autobiography’ was published a year after her death but was written over a period of 15 years between 1950 and 1965.
- Christie and her first husband Archie named their house at Sunningdale Styles in honour of her first novel ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’.
Agatha Christie was a lifelong dog-owner. And as I said in the beginning, books and dogs are some of the best friends of human beings. Christie was always surrounded by books and her dog – I too wish the same for me, one day. Even though Agatha Christie passed away on 12 January 1976, her stories are still regarded as some of the best ever.
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