During the First World War there were Belgian refugees in most parts of the English countryside, Torquay being no exception. Although he was not based on any particular person, Agatha thought that a Belgian refugee, a former great Belgian policeman, would make an excellent detective for The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Hercule Poirot was born.
1919 was a momentous year for Agatha. With the end of the war, Archie had found a job in the City and they had just enough to rent a flat in London and later that year on the 5th August, Agatha gave birth to their daughter, Rosalind. Also that year the publisher, John Lane, who had liked The Mysterious Affair at Styles contracted Agatha to produce five more books. She went on to be one of the first authors Penguin ever published, with fantastic results.
Following the war Agatha continued to write and to travel with Archie, though sadly they were later to divorce and Agatha would remarry, Max Mallowan, the world famous archaeologist - a marriage that would last forty-six years.
By 1930, having written several novels and short stories, Agatha had created a new character to act as sleuth. Miss Jane Marple was an amalgam of several old ladies Agatha used to meet in villages she visited as a kid. When she created Miss Marple, Agatha did not expect her to become Poirot's rival, but with The Murder at the Vicarage, Miss Marple’s first full-length outing, it appeared she had produced another popular and enduring character.
One of Agatha’s lifelong ambitions had been to travel on the Orient Express; her first journey took place in 1928. The atmosphere of the Middle East was not lost on Agatha, as can be recognised in books such as Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, Murder in Mesopotamia, Appointment With Death and They Came to Baghdad as well as many short stories.
Agatha Christie is the most successful female playwright of all time, holding world records for being the only female playwright to have three of her plays running simultaneously in London’s West End, and for writing the longest running show of any kind in the world – The Mousetrap. In her lifetime, Christie wrote over 30 stage plays.
After a hugely successful career and a very happy life Agatha died peacefully on 12 January 1976.
Agatha Christie Limited (ACL) has been managing the literary and media rights to Agatha Christie's works around the world since 1955, working with the best talents in film, television, publishing, stage and on digital platforms to ensure that Christie’s work continues to reach new audiences in innovative ways and to the highest standard. The company is managed by Christie’s great grandson James Prichard.