Agatha Christie – the story of a very famous local author

agatha christie

Agatha Christie Plaque | Wikimedia | GFDL or CC by SA-3.0

Let us take a look at the life of the very well known, bestselling crime author Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller – later known as Agatha Christie. She was born in Torquay, Devon on 15th September 1890. Agatha is remembered for being one of the bestselling crime authors in history with her stories of the lovable characters Poirot and Miss Marple.

She was homeschooled by her parents while her two siblings were sent away for their education. From a young age Agatha enjoyed reading, writing poetry and playing music. In her autobiography Agatha commented that she had been lucky to have a “very happy childhood.” In 1902 Agatha began her formal education at Miss Guyer’s Girls School in Torquay. She then moved to France in 1905 to continue her education there.

In 1926, Christie released The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, a hit which was later marked as a genre classic and one of the author’s all-time favourites. She dealt with tumult that same year, however, as her mother died and her husband revealed that he was in a relationship with another woman.


Agatha Christie’s birthplace by Tom Jolliffe| CC BY-SA 2.0 | Wikimedia

The story at the time states that “Traumatized by the revelation, Christie disappeared only to be discovered by authorities several days later at a Harrogate hotel, registered under the name of her husband’s mistress!”

Agatha Christie remained faithful to her home in Devon. She had a home there until her death in 1976. Greenway is a gracious creamy-coloured Georgian mansion, partly screened by its mature trees and wild gardens, alongside the River Dart in Galmpton, Dartmouth, Devon.

Devon not only provided her with refuge, but was also a source of inspiration for her novels and characters. Agatha spent a lot of her time at Greenway. In 1943 the house was requisitioned for use as officers’ quarters for the US navy. Once the war was over Greenway became principally a summer home. It had magnificent gardens, which included a Cork Oak thought to be 300 to 350 years old.

agatha christie Greenway

Greenway By Jason Ballard | CC BY 2.0 | Wikimedia

In 1959 the house was made over to her daughter Rosalind, who occasionally opened the house to Agatha Christie’s fans. In 2000 the house was given to the National Trust, when it was opened to the public. Greenway now has a holiday apartment to let, “fine dining experiences” and afternoon teas. Well worth a visit!

Agatha’s health began to decline during the 1970s, and on 12 January 1976 she died from natural causes at her home in Winterbrook, Oxfordshire.  She was a remarkable lady, who left a wealth of written work for us all to enjoy.

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About the Author: Carole Langman works behind the scenes at Bowerland Cottage Holidays and Devon Dogs as the Business Manager. Her office is always a hive of activity, and with the vast amounts of work Carole has, we never really know how she gets through it all! To unwind, she loves gardening, hikes around Bowerland, travelling and writing.

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