In the Author's Own Words

L Inline Christie Boat Quotes
Agatha Christie on board the Kildonan Castle boat as she sets off on her Grand Tour © The Christie Archive Trust

Famed for her intricate plots, cunning twists, and colourful detectives, Agatha Christie’s remarkable stories are world-class. Her personal reflections show the same clarity, wit and range which readers have come to expect from her novels. Whether you delve into An Autobiography, discover more during Come Tell Me How You Live or opt for personal insights from Agatha Christie's Complete Secret Notebooks, there’s nothing quite like getting to know the author in her own words – here we share a few of our favourite quotations for you to enjoy.

On pets

On my fifth birthday, I was given a dog. It was the most shattering thing that ever happened to me; such unbelievable joy, that I was unable to say a word.
An Autobiography

On books

Murder on the Links was slightly less in the Sherlock Holmes tradition, and was influenced, I think, by The Mystery of the Yellow Room. It had rather that high-flown, fanciful type of writing. When one starts writing, one is much influenced by the last person one has read or enjoyed.
An Autobiography

On eating

There is no doubt about it, my favourite thing has been, is, and probably always will be, cream.
An Autobiography

On detective fiction

The whole point of a good detective story was that it must be somebody obvious but at the same time, for some reason, you would then find that it was not obvious, that he could not possibly have done it. Though really, of course, he had done it.
An Autobiography

On writing

It's no good starting out by thinking one is a heaven-born genius - some people are, but very few. No, one is a tradesman - a tradesman in a good honest trade. You must learn the technical skills, and then, within that trade, you can apply your own creative ideas; but you must submit to the discipline of form.
An Autobiography

On cars

Oh the joy that car was to me! I don't suppose anyone nowadays could believe the difference it made to one's life. To be able to go anywhere you chose; to places beyond the reach of your legs - it widened your whole horizon.
An Autobiography

On trains

[A] train—a big snorting, hurrying, companionable train, with its big puffing engine, sending upclouds of steam, and seeming to say impatiently: ‘I’ve got to be off, I’ve got to be off, I’ve got to be off!’—is a friend!
Come Tell Me How You Live

On travel

To travel by train is to see nature and human beings, towns and churches and rivers - in fact, to see life.
An Autobiography

On archaeology

I think to one engaged in digging, the real interest is in the everyday life — the life of the potter, the farmer, the tool-maker, the expert cutter of animal seals and amulets—in fact, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick-maker.
Come Tell Me How You Live

On love

It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous, that you realise just how much you love them!
An Autobiography

On life

There is nothing more wonderful to have in one's life, than time. I don't believe people get enough of it nowadays.’
An Autobiography

On family

Family? Family life is the best life there is, much more fun than any other kind of life. The more maddening one’s family is, the more one seems to like them.
Notes on life from Agatha Christie’s papers (reproduced with kind permission of The Christie Archive Trust)

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