Agatha Christie Christie's legacy is remarkable – she is thought to have sold more books than any other fiction writer, with the possible exception of Shakespeare; her works have been translated into 103 languages, making her the most translated author to date; and she is the only crime novelist to have achieved equal and international fame as a dramatist. Moreover, her work is just as popular and enthralling today as it ever was – The Mousetrap remains the longest running West End play, while the continuous stream of Poirot and Miss Marple television reruns prove that a brilliantly written murder mystery never grows old.

In 1946, Christie said of herself: "My chief dislikes are crowds, loud noises, gramophones and cinemas. I dislike the taste of alcohol and do not like smoking. I do like sun, sea, flowers, travelling, strange foods, sports, concerts, theatres, pianos, and doing embroidery." Christie's works of fiction contain some objectionable character Stereotypes, but in real life, many of her biases were positive. After four years of war-torn London, Christie hoped to return some day to Syria, which she described as a "gentle fertile country and its simple people, who know how to laugh and how to enjoy life; who are idle and gay, and who have dignity, good manners, and a great sense of humour, and to whom death is not terrible". Christie was a lifelong, "quietly devout":183 member of the Church of England, attended church regularly, and kept her mother's copy of The Imitation of Christ by her bedside. After her divorce, she stopped taking the sacrament of communion. The Agatha Christie Trust For Children was established in 1969, and shortly after Christie's death a charitable memorial fund was set up to "help two causes that she favoured: old people and young children". Christie's obituary in The Times notes that "she never cared much for the cinema, or for wireless and television. Further, Dame Agatha's private pleasures were gardening – she won local prizes for horticulture – and buying furniture for her various houses. She was a shy person: she disliked public appearances: but she was friendly and sharp-witted to meet. By inclination as well as breeding she belonged to the English upper middle-class. She wrote about, and for, people like herself. That was an essential part of her charm.

Popular books

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