On this day in history : 12th January 1976 – Crime writer Dame Agatha Christie dies peacefully of natural causes, at the age of 85, at her home in Wallingford, Oxfordshire….

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After a simple funeral service she was buried in the nearby churchyard of St. Mary’s at Cholsey – having chosen her own final resting place 10 years earlier….

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born on the 15th of September 1890 in Torquay, Devon…. She was born into a wealthy upper-middle class family and was the youngest of three children…. Her parents only decided on what name to call her minutes before her christening….

We all know Agatha Christie as perhaps the most successful writer of modern times…. She has sold over 2 billion books worldwide – having only ever being outsold by Shakespeare and the Bible…. Agatha never actually intended to become a writer, she only found her vocation after being challenged by her elder sister, Madge, to write a detective story…. During her writing career she also wrote six non-crime novels, under the pseudonym of Mary Westmacott….

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Agatha as a child, date unknown – Public domain

Agatha did not go to school, she received a home education, where her parents taught her to read and write and the basics of arithmetic…. She was also musical, playing the piano and mandolin….

An avid reader from an early age, her own favourite authors as an adult were Graham Greene and Elizabeth Bowen…. Agatha gained her knowledge of poisons for her own novels whilst working in a hospital dispensary during the First World War….

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Image credit : Ninian Reid via Flickr

Here are a few more little facts about Agatha Christie which you may not have known….

She was a keen gardener and won prizes for horticulture…. She loved the sun and the sea and flowers…. Her favourite colour was green…. She enjoyed travelling, trying different foods, going to concerts and the theatre…. She liked sport and relaxed by doing embroidery…. She didn’t drink alcohol and hated smoking…. She detested cockroaches and marmalade pudding! In her own words her chief dislikes in life were : ‘crowds, loud noises, gramophones and cinemas’…. Agatha’s last public appearance was in 1974 at the film premier of’Murder on the Orient Express’….

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Agatha in 1925 – Public domain

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