Insights from Investigating Agatha Christie

4th April 2016

Investigating Agatha Christie, an exhibition by Pointe-À-Callière in Montréal, focuses on the exceptional life of Agatha Christie whose compelling novels have left their mark on international literature. The exhibition is drawing to a close on the 17 th April and we’ve put together some of our favourite insights about Christie's life, as told by the exhibition.

Agatha Christie was brought up at Ashfield House where she taught herself to read at the age of 4.

After finishing her education in Paris at the age of 15, Agatha travelled to Egypt. Her time in Egypt inspired her to write a short story, Snow Upon the Desert, which was rejected by a number of publishers. Despite this, her neighbour Eden Phillpotts advised her not to give up.

In 1914 Agatha married Archibald Christie whom she had met in 1912. The wedding went ahead without a wedding dress and by a vicar arranged at the last minute. Agatha and Archie welcomed their daughter, Rosalind, into the world in 1919.

A few years later the couple headed out on a World Tour where they visited South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Hawaii. It was on this trip that Agatha Christie discovered surfing and became one of the first British woman reported to surf!

Following her divorce from Archie, Agatha booked a trip to the West Indies, but just days before her departure she changed her tickets and instead took a trip on the Orient Express, which of course would later provide inspiration for one of Christie's best known stories.

Agatha met her second husband, Max Mallowan, on an archaeological site in Ur. Max had been instructed to show Christie around. Archaeology became a frequent hobby and interest for Agatha, and it wasn't long before it too became an inspiration for some of her novels.

In 1933 the British Museum and British School of Archaeology sponsored Max to direct his own dig in Iraq. Later, Max shifted his archaeological explorations to Syria. Agatha wrote about their adventures in Syria in Come, Tell Me How You Live.

Agatha started writing her autobiography at Nimrud in April 1950. She didn't complete it until a decade and a half later in 1975.

Agatha Christie was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 1971.

Find out more about the exhibition on the Pointe-À-Callière's website here.