Fun with Literature – Agatha Christie, Woman of Mystery


You don’t have to be a great fan of crime novels to know the name of Agatha Christie. She is one of the most famous English writers ever. The total number of her books sold worldwide reaches almost four billion – only the Bible has sold more copies!

Here are some interesting facts from her life. Go through them and then try to retell Agatha Christie’s life story in your own words using properly structured sentences.

  • Born September 15, 1890 in Devon, England.
  • Happy childhood, educated by mother and sister
  • Loved reading from a very young age
  • Studied in Paris, wanted to be a singer
  • Experimented with writing but wasn’t successful
  • Married in 1914, had a daughter Rosalind
  • Worked as a nurse during WWI, learned a lot about pharmacy
  • Published her first crime novel in 1920, it was a big success
  • In 1926 disappeared for 11 days, it became national headline news, later found in a country hotel with memory loss, never explained what had happened to her
  • Divorced and remarried to an archaeologist Max Mallowan, travelling to exotic places together
  • Wrote over 40 crime novels, creating two outstanding detectives: Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple
  • Wrote 6 romantic novels under the pseudonym of Mary Westmacott
  • Wrote a play called The Mousetrap which has been performed without a break since 1952
  • Loved gardening and travelling, knew a lot about poisons – used it in her novels, hated public interviews  
  • Died January 12, 1976  

Read the description of Hercule Poirot as Agatha Christie introduced him in her book. There are some difficult words used in the text. Try to guess their meaning and then match the highlighted words with their correct explanations below.

“He was hardly more than five feet four inches but carried himself with great dignity. His head was exactly the shape of an egg, and he always perched it a little on one side…The neatness of his attire was almost incredible; I believe a speck of dust would have caused him more pain than a bullet wound.”

a) Looking tidy, with a pleasing appearance
b) Sense of a person’s own importance and value
c) A small metal object that is shot from a gun
d) Clothes (very formal)
e) A very small piece of something like dirt for example
f) To sit or to place something on the edge of something

Miroslava Dubanová

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