It Is 40 Years Since The Death Of Dame Agatha Christie


January 12, 2016 — Today marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Dame Agatha Christie, one of the world’s foremost mystery writers.

She is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling novelist of all time, which is not surprising since her novels have sold approximately 2 billion copies. There is a claim by her estate — one which many people credit — that her books are the third most-widely published in the world, falling behind only Shakespeare and The Bible.

Her works have been translated into at least 103 languages.

Her play, The Mousetrap, opened in 1952 at the Ambassadors Theatre; it has run continuously since that time, for a total of more than 25,000 performances. It is far and away the longest continuing running entertainment in history.

She was made a Dame for her contribution to literature in 1971 (her full title was Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, DBE).

These accomplishments would be remarkable under any circumstances, but Christie never received a formal education and taught herself to read.

Many of her books and short stories have been made into adapted as movies, plays, radio and television programming; they are also the source material for numerous video games and comic books.

Among her more frequently-used characters were Jane Marple, Parker Pyne, Harley Quin, (Mr. Satterthwaite) and Tommy and Tuppence Beresford. But by far her most popular creation was Hercule Poirot, the fussy Belgian detective whose need for order in all things makes him an intensely logical crime solving force. Perhaps only one fictional detective has been more influential: the original, Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s super sleuth.

Christie won the first-ever Mystery Writer of America’s Grand Master Award. She would also win the Edgar Award for her play Witness for the Prosecution, which has been into several successful movies.

She was also an early surfing enthusiast and an archaeologist.

And, in a twist worthy of one of her stories, in 1926 her first husband was suspected of murdering her after she disappeared for 11 days. After her re-appearance, she refused to explain where she had been.

Watch Witness for the Prosecution with a remarkable cast: Sir Ralph Richardson, Deborah Kerr, Diana Rigg, Beau Bridges and Wendy Hiller.
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