Agatha Christie (1890-1976) is considered one of the most famous writers in the world. It is called the classic of the detective genre. She published 60 novels, as well as collections of short stories, plays. The total circulation of the writer’s works was 4 billion copies, it was translated into 100 languages of the world. However, there are many myths about the author’s personality and about its creativity. They were created by numerous researchers, critics, admirers of creativity.
In the end, many people who did not read the novels of Agatha Christie, judge them on the basis of common patterns. The writer herself traveled a lot and was so active that it was possible to create a great interesting novel on her basis. Many myths about the life and work of the writer came to the information magazines. Legends that appear, then disappear, despite organized attempts by real fans to resist lies.
Despite the fact that not so long ago the world celebrated the 120th anniversary of the birth of Agatha Christie, for millions of fans of her work she remains alive. And when a house-museum dedicated to the writer opened in Devon, they immediately started talking about the ghost that appeared in its walls. Obviously, Agatha Christie’s personality interests many. Therefore, it is worth debunking the most popular misconceptions about it.
The main criminal in the novels of Christy is the butler.
The classic phrase “Killer – Butler!” Is known to all. It seems that the perpetrator is a completely inconspicuous person, whom no one suspected, who was in the shadow of most of the investigation. But the phrase has nothing to do with Christie’s novels. In them, butlers are really auxiliary characters. In the same “Ten Negroes”, the butler himself was the victim of a criminal. In another novel, the perpetrator portrays himself as a butler, committing murder, and then dramatizes his disappearance. But the real butler in any of the novels of Agatha Christie was not a killer.
The main criminal in the novels of Christy is a doctor.
Some critics argue that it’s easiest to guess criminals in Christie’s books – point to a medic. But this is not entirely true. The doctor really is the main culprit in four of Christie’s novels. In the other three novels, the criminal is a nurse, a dentist and a pharmacist. In one novel, the doctor became a murderer, having undergone a drunken operation, but this incident was not the main thing for the book. In another novel, the doctor tried to kill Poirot, but he could not. In dozens of detectives of the author there are completely non-human medicine physicians. The murderers of Christy have a wide variety of professions: actors, secretaries, policemen, teachers, playboys, housewives, military, as well as groups of two, three or more characters.
Written by Agatha Christie after the Second World War, the work should not be read.
A number of critics note the drop in the quality of the detectives of Agatha Christie in the late period of her work. There is in this statement some part of the truth. When writing “The Passenger from Frankfurt” and “The Gate of Destiny” Agatha Christie did not feel well, living the last years of her life. These works are really not the best, but most written after the war is considered a classic. In 1952, the book “Mrs. McGinty Died with Life” was published, in 1957 – “At 4:50 of Paddington” and “Testing Innocence.” In the 1960s, the light was seen by “Villa” White Horse “and” Endless Night “. In fact, many fans have any book of Agatha Christie. True, most, but not all, of her most famous and popular works were published between 1930 and 1950. Nevertheless, there are admirers of her work in the earliest and the latest period.
Agatha Christie’s books are sexist.
The writer is accused that in her books she hated women who worked outside the home, adhered to double standards for the sexes, condoned rape and ill-treatment of men. It is rather strange to hear this, given that the career of a woman has become one of the most successful in the world of literature.Christie herself was brought up in the era of Victorian manners, but in her works there are many strong, intelligent and confident women. It’s amazing how Miss Marple did not become an alternative icon for feminists at all. After all, this character showed how you can be independent, respected and perceptive throughout your life. Robert Barnard somehow quipped that the image of Lady Westholme in the book “Rendezvous with Death” proves how the writer hated professional women. However, in the same work there is Sarah King, a young doctor who does her job well and does not pay attention to gender prejudices. In the works of Agatha Christie, there are many such heroines: Mrs. Oliver, Miss Lemon, Mrs. Maud, Lucy Aylesbarrow, Megan Barnard. All of them, especially young heroines, are depicted by strong women, positive characters.
Most of the heroines find the right man and then live happily ever after.
But this also meant that men need women to find true happiness, and not just the opposite. True, most of Christie’s heroines do not focus on their careers. In the end “Evil under the sun” a woman deliberately abandons her successful business with clothes to marry someone she loved since childhood. Many saw this as sexism, as in the words of the heroine’s lover, who urged her to stop working, otherwise she would be “not good enough”. In this there are really some notes of sexism, but this is just one episode of many! It should be noted that some of the author’s most powerful female characters are murderers. Many ladies are much smarter than the men they are associated with.
The allegations that Christie approves of rape and domestic violence have emerged recently.
But there is no evidence of this myth in her books. In the “Silent Witness”, the woman makes false accusations that her husband is beating children, but in fact it is not. A couple of characters in “Nemesis” testify that some young women are engaged in illegal sexual activity, and then falsely claim to rape. However, here it is worth talking about the views of the characters themselves, not the author. In general, in the works of Agatha Christie, the subject of rape rarely rose, and if it did, the author was serious about it. Christy herself was not interested in covering topics of sexual crimes. The allegations that she ignores violence are a monstrous charge.
Agatha Christie’s books are racist.
This myth emerged from the analysis of recent television adaptations of her works. There are several characters who use undesirable epithets and adhere to offensive views. But in general, such characters are portrayed negatively. Most often, at the root of the author’s racism, mention is even made of the name of her most famous novel – “10 Little Indians” (“And no one was”). However, at the time of publication of the book, these words were not considered racist. In any case, the topic of minorities in Christie’s books is rarely addressed. Virtually all villains are people of European appearance, with the exception of a Chinese criminal in four major works and some other deadly Asians in the story “The Lost Mine”. In “Death comes at the end” the Egyptian is the murderer, but there all the characters live in ancient Thebes. Colored people are victims of murder and attacks in the “Caribbean mystery”, “Big Four” and “Tests of innocence.” In the last novel, the proposed interracial union looked positive, and in the “Hickory Dikori Dok” friendship was led by young people from different ethnic groups.
Most of the killers of Agatha Christie are gay.
This myth, again, appeared on the basis of the latest television adaptations of detectives. It is still necessary to turn to the original source. In the “Corpse in the Library” and “Cards on the Table” and some other productions, the writers either changed the initial heterosexual preferences of the killers or changed the sex of the conspirator, creating a homosexual relationship.I must say that this is not a new phenomenon. In the version of “Ten Negroes” as early as 1989, the old maid, convinced of her rightness, turns into a dramatic lesbian actress. In any case, none of the killers of Kristy was gay. An exception can be considered a character in the short play “Rats”. It assumes that the murderer committed a crime in the form of revenge for someone in whom he was in love. In a couple of other cases, the sexual orientation of the killer is ambiguous, in the same “Nemesis”. In recent productions, directors often change the sexual orientation of some minor characters. For example, in the recent McEwan production of “The Murder Announced,” the characters of Miss Murgatroyd and Miss Hinchcliffe are obviously lesbians, although the book’s relationships are vague. In some productions of The Mousetrap, Christopher Rehn is portrayed as gay, but many filmmakers refuse such an interpretation. After all, if this character is interested in men, then there is no point in his jealousy of the young couple Giles and Molly Ralston. In all of Christie’s work there is only one explicit gay friend of Raymond West, who has Miss Marple on a vacation in the Caribbean. But this character never appears in the book. And the author uses the word “lesbian” only once in his texts. He is pronounced by a teenager in the “Halloween Party”, answering the past of a young woman.
All the books of Agatha Christie are similar to each other.
Often the author’s detectives are determined by one single template – there is a place where the murder occurred, and then an investigation is carried out and the culprit is clarified. Many subjects in this aspect are really similar. However, it is important to understand that from the work to the work the motives, characters, methods of investigation and narration change. As a result, the novels of Agatha Christie are different from each other. In the “10 Little Indians”, “Endless Night”, “Murder in alphabetical order” and other subjects are completely unlike anything else in the author’s work. Thriller Agatha Christie is very different from her other books, the development of the plot is original enough to make the works different from each other.
Agatha Christie’s books are dedicated to rich people living in gigantic mansions with secret passages.
A significant number of works by Agatha Christie is really dedicated to rich people. It is logical that they live in houses that correspond to their social statuses. But this is a reflection of the fact that money is an excellent motive for murder. That is why the heroes are the rich, who are victims. Some books are devoted to riddles of country houses, in others the action takes place in capital London. In The Enigma Enigma, there is a hidden secret panel where the murder weapon was hidden. However, such hiding places are a rarity for the manors described by Christie.
The offender is always the most unexpected character.
Agatha Christie is a master of disorientation. She came up with many ways to get people to think in the wrong direction, directing suspicions on this or that character. The writer knew that most readers would never suspect a criminal in an elderly lady, child, detective, storyteller or cyclic character. But if the reader can not suspect the true murderer, it is his own fault. A number of authors of detectives hide the true criminal. In such books he appears in several sentences at the beginning of the book, returning at the end. Then they already expose him completely. But by that time the reader had already forgotten about this character. Agatha Christie has never done this. Each of her killers plays an important role in the book, she never resorted to unbelievable stories. The offender is always in sight, the reader simply does not know his true face.
Agatha Christie singled out the British and hated the Americans.
This is a rather ridiculous version of the myth of writer’s racism.If she really idolized the English, then why was the most famous detective the Belgian? Throughout many books, Agatha Christie, indeed, becomes isolated in British society. There are numerous symbols that make one think of the author’s dislike of some nationalities or the appearance of offensive stereotypes. However, it is a mistake to think that these views belong to Agatha Christie herself. Concerning hatred towards Americans, one can recall several odious characters from this country. This is Ratchett from Murder on the Orient Express, an incredibly rich Number Two in the Big Four and Mrs. Boynton in The Date with Death. But they can be classified as exceptions. Americans generally do not often appear in Christie’s books, but they have many sympathizers for the representatives of this nation, for example, to the injured Boynton children in the “Rendezvous with Death.” In the “Mysterious Enemy” and “Endless Night”, the attitude toward Americans is favorable. At first glance, a morose and irritable man becomes much happier when his 100% European husband agrees to go with him to the US and become an absolute American. In the “exploits of Hercules” a very friendly American saves Poirot’s life or, at least, protects him from torture and mutilation. And most of the killers in the books of Agatha Christie are English!
Agatha Christie was a snob.
As mentioned earlier, one of the reasons why so many murders occur in rich houses or comfortable places is a motive in the form of money. Class conflict is present in several books of Agatha Christie, most revealing in After Funeral and in Endless Night. In other works this is not. For fifty years of Agatha Christie’s work, the author’s sympathies do not relate directly to the privileged aristocrats or, conversely, to the workers. The author clearly supports decent and kind people. Some of the millionaires in the detectives of Agatha Christie are fine people, others are extremely odious. The range of servants’ characters varies from cute to killers. The author judges the characters from the personal point of view, so she is not a snob. Agatha Christie unobtrusively emphasizes that living with money in general is easier than without them, but is it possible to argue with this?
In the books of Christie there are always unknown poisons and exotic ways of killing.
Agatha Christie never used imaginary poisons with unimaginable side effects. It used to be that she used a fictitious name for the drug. For example, “Calmo” – a sedative, which when used with alcohol becomes poison in “And, cracking, the mirror rings”. However, these symptoms and reaction to them are similar to real medicines. Probably, the author did not want to mention real branded drugs. Manufacturers could be upset to see that their product in the books will be described as deadly. And then there would be a lawsuit. As for the outlandish methods of murder, the criminals of Christie use ingenious tactics to build their alibi in order to avoid punishment. It is not necessary to search in novels for clever pistols, deadly gases or explosives, electric shock, as in the novels of other authors. In the series of novels about Dr. Fu Sachs Romer, such exotic methods of murder as a deadly snake and other unusual instruments are described. But Agatha Christie is quite simple – adding poison to food, conventional firearms, injections, strikes or strangulation. One can recall a rather strange electrified chessboard in the Big Four and poisoned darts in Death in the Clouds. However, the author’s weapons are of secondary importance in the narrative, where the drama of the crime itself is more important. Christie actually ridiculed the misconception about her specialization in bright deaths. Her literary self-portrait, the mysterious writer Ariadne Oliver, is famous for using outrageous ways of killing people.In “Investigating Parker Pine,” Mrs. Oliver notes that she does not particularly like the scripts, when the dungeons slowly fill with water, but the readers like it! Similarly, “In cards on the table,” she grins that those people who read her books like unknown poisons. In this she is the exact opposite of Agatha Christie, all mentioned poisons in which have real analogues.
In the stories of Agatha Christie there are mystical cliches.
From the point of view of the twenty-first century, this is indeed the case. But it happened only because Agatha Christie herself invented the majority of detective stories and moves, which became cliches! The line “strangers arrived in an abandoned house, and then they were killed one by one” was invented by the English writer in “Ten Little Indians”, this is just one example. If you read the novel of Christie and somewhere before met a similar turn of the plot, it was simply stolen from the original work of the Englishwoman.
Agatha Christie was a lesbian.
Of course, it is difficult to say something unequivocally, but it is worthwhile to understand that the writer was twice married. The first marriage took place when Agate Miller was 24 years old. Her chosen one was Colonel Archibald Christie. Certainly, he was not the first love of a young woman. She herself admitted that the first strong feeling came to her at the age of four. Then the object of adoration was a cousin, blue-eyed Philip. But to tell him about her passion, she was afraid, avoiding any sort of meetings. Biographers of the writer inform that in the youth around her always cavaliers swarmed. The girl was attracted by her elegant manners, a wonderful voice, she played the piano perfectly. And at one of the parties behind Agatha began to care for Colonel Charles. He was a famous ladies’ man and was 15 years older than a girl. A fervent suitor began to fill up Agata with sweets, bouquets, and wrote her love notes. But this novel did not last long. A limited military girl preferred a family friend, Reggie. He taught Agatha a game of golf, became her first man and was going to marry her. The couple decided to pause for a couple of years to Reggie finish the service. But then Agatha Miller met Archibald Christie and fell in love with him. Soon after the wedding, Rosalind’s daughter appeared. With motherhood to Agatha Christie came and the desire to write, but for the colonel himself, paternity was the occasion for betrayal. That’s why the marriage fell apart. In 1930, the writer, traveling around Iraq, met with archaeologist Max Mallowan. And although he was younger than Agata for 15 years, became her second husband. She herself remarked wittily that for an archaeologist the age of a woman is important, then her value for him increases. It was with this man that the writer lived the rest of her life, dying two years earlier, in 1976. About the relationship of Agatha Christie with women biographers nothing is known.
Agatha Christie became a writer, hitting a psychiatric hospital.
The author’s first book, The Mysterious Incident in Styles, was written in 1920. Agatha argued with her older sister, who had already been a writer, that she could write no worse. But the debut work was accepted only by the seventh edition. The book came out in a small edition of 2000 copies, and the author herself received a tiny fee of 25 pounds. Hit in the psychiatric clinic will happen only after six years. Then the break with her first husband led to a breakdown, the woman disappeared for 11 days. The police got off their feet, looking for a fugitive, while she herself was resting at a spa resort under an assumed name. The relatives decided to understand this strange act and turned to psychiatrists for help. So Agatha Christie came to the clinic for examination. Doctors diagnosed her with amnesia because of a head injury. But later the famous English psychologist Andrew Norman discovered another reason for the mysterious act. In his work “Ready-made portrait” the expert told that the woman had a serious psychological disorder – a split personality.But there is a more simple and banal explanation for this story. By her disappearance, a woman simply took revenge on her unfaithful husband. Together, the police immediately began to suspect of the murder.
Agatha Christie made money by sewing underwear.
The appearance of such a myth is quite understandable. The woman herself in her youth repeatedly changed her profession, trying to find her vocation. At first she wanted to be a musician, but the fear of the scene arose on the way to the dream. Here is the time of the First World War Agatha worked in the hospital as a nurse, and she liked it. She herself said that practicing medicine is almost the most useful thing a person can do. And later she was engaged in pharmacy, which eventually affected the work. The researchers calculated that 83 crimes in the works of Agatha Christie were poisoning. But in the women’s biography there was never any trade or tailoring. And even more than that, she could not sew at all, considering this a shameful occupation. Agatha Christie laughed, saying that her goods would have frightened off all the cavaliers from herself. But she knitted perfectly, making socks, gloves, scarves. The grandson of the writer, Matthew Pritchard, still keeps small knights, made by the hands of her famous grandmother.
Under the appearance of Miss Marple, Agatha Christie herself is hiding herself.
The writer herself claims that the prototype of her main character was not her, as many people wanted to think, but her grandmother. She was a non-evil person, but she expected all the worst. And, what was the strangest, all her expectations were regularly justified. Such a granddaughter remembered her. For the first time, Miss Marple appeared in the story “Vechernik Club” Tuesday “in 1927. This wise woman immediately became the favorite heroine of the writer. And based on the results of a 2007 poll of readers of the Waterstone’s book network, Miss Marple was named the most attractive and witty heroine. And the most charming character the British called Hercule Poirot.
Agatha Christie staged her own death, hiding after 1976 in the coal mines.
There is a legend that the writer did not die in 1976, having lived to 104 years. She really loved the dark closed rooms, scooping up her inspiration. Agatha Christie chose a cave for these purposes, where she stayed for several days. It is this fact that formed the basis of the myth. But in 1976, doctors stated the death of the writer. At that moment, her relatives were with her. It is not necessary to talk about the staging.
Agatha Christie suffered from Alzheimer’s disease at the end of her life.
Specialists of the University of Toronto decided to analyze the manner of the author’s letter in the last years of his life. As a result, the light was seen by the study, explaining the changes in the style of Alzheimer’s disease. But this version does not agree with the grandson of Agatha Christie, Matthew Pritchard. He knew his grandmother from the time of his birth until her death. Agatha Christie was ill, like all people, but she did not have Alzheimer’s. The writer died at the venerable age of a short cold.