Agatha Christie is one of the most seminal writers in the history of literature and is actually ranked by the Guinness Book of World Records as being the best-selling author of all-time. High praise indeed, especially when we factor in the likes of Tolkien, King, and Rowling. With her novels having sold in excess of 2 billion copies, as well as a film adaptation recently released, it’s clear that Christie’s work remains popular to this day.
Well-known for her inventive, captivating, and occasionally pulse-pounding fiction, Christie is the Godmother of Crime. But she was also a fascinating woman, whose personal life sometimes outweighed the marvelous mystery of her written works. Here are some of the most mysterious facts we feel you need to know about Agatha Christie.
Her first novel was an accident
How weird is it that the best-selling novelist of all time had never even intended to be a novelist?! In fact, she actually only wrote her first novel on the strength of a dare from her sister Madge. After a childhood and adolescence spent with her nose in a book, Agatha’s sister challenged her to try a novel herself. This novel was called The Mysterious Affair at Styles and was published in 1920, after being turned down by 6 publishers. The novel featured a mustachioed Belgian detective who would go on to become a literary icon – Hercule Poirot.
She once disappeared… for 10 days!
Everyone loves a good disappearing act, and we’ve certainly heard of Amelia Earhart who disappeared without a trace. But, we’ve never heard the story of a successful author going missing. However, that is just exactly what happened in 1926, when Agatha Christie left her London home without a trace. With her husband wanting a divorce at the time, there was speculation of foul play. But it turned out she had driven out of town to a spa, and not told anyone. It was a move that was out of character, and her family thinks she may have suffered from some kind of temporary amnesia.
Hercule Poirot was based on a real person
They always say you should write about what you know, and it seems that Christie did just that, for Poirot was actually believed to be based on a real person. Apparently, the inspiration for the character came to Christie when she saw a Belgian man leaving a bus in the early 1910s; with his odd look, and curious facial hair, the budding author decided he would make the ideal protagonist detective. Poirot would go on to make around 40 appearances in crime fiction under Christie.
She hated violence
Christie was known to hate violence, despite being a murder mystery writer. It was for this reason that the majority of characters killed in her books were actually killed with poison. After working as a dispensary during the war, she had strong knowledge of pharmaceuticals and made poison her weapon of choice. This is also the reason why Poirot and Miss Marple are pretty much pacifists as well.
You may well have read Agatha Christie’s books at length, and enjoyed adaptations of her work, but we bet you never knew these things about her. She was a fascinating woman, and one worthy of claiming the mantle of the world’s best-selling author. Now you will be able to look at her works in a new light after finding out these awesome facts.