Person Born 15/9/1890 Died 12/1/1976
Detective novelist and playwright. Born in Torquay, into a well-off family, where a bust has been erected, as Agatha Miller. Married Archie Christie in 1914. In WW1 she trained and worked in a pharmacy in Torquay - gaining knowledge of chemistry and poisons in particular that she would draw on later. Her first novel was published in 1920. Visiting Hawaii in the 1920s with Archie she was a pioneer surfer. A successful writer, her personal life suffered when, shortly after her mother's death, Archie declared his love for another woman.
On 3 December 1926 Agatha ran away from their Berkshire home to Harrogate where she registered in a hotel under her rival's surname. She disappeared and a countrywide search ensued, with Archie suspected of murder and her of publicity-seeking. After 10 days some hotel staff identified her but she could not remember how or why she went to Harrogate, and the mystery was never solved. The Christies divorced in 1928. That year she met Max Mallowan, 14 years her junior, and married him in 1930. This marriage was a success. She accompanied Max on digs in the Near East and participated in the work of the expedition, as well as continuing to write. In WW2 she refreshed her training and again worked in a dispensary, this time in London at University College Hospital.
Christie is the world's best-selling writer having sold 4 billion books. Appointed CBE in 1956 and DBE in 1971, she became Lady Mallowan in 1968 when Max was knighted.
Londonist have a good post on her London.