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Agatha christie died on 12 january 1976, having become the best-selling novelist in history. Her autobiography, published in 1977 a year after her death, tells of her fascinating private life, from early childhood through two marriages and two world wars, and her experiences both as a writer and on archaeological expeditions with her second husband, max mallowan. Not only does the book reveal the true genius of her legendary success, but the story is vividly told and as captivating as one of her novels.
did get off in Madeira.’ ‘I needn’t,’ I said, ‘I could stay there. I could do some work there.’ ‘What work?’ asked Archie, disbelievingly. It was true that in those days employment for women was in short supply. Women were daughters to be supported, or wives to be supported, or widows to exist on what their husbands had left or their relations could provide. They could be companions to old ladies, or they could go as nursery governesses to children. However, I had an answer to that objection.
fishmonger’s shop: all round me were filleted, quivering fish on ice, but at the same time I was encased in a log of wood which was on fire and smoking–the combination of the two was most unfortunate. Every now and then, with an enormous effort, I came out of this unpleasant nightmare, saying to myself, ‘I’m just Agatha lying on my bed–there are no fish here, no fishmonger’s shop, and I am not a blazing log.’ However, soon I was slithering about on a slippery sheepskin, and the fishes’ heads were
was not interested in learning for its own sake–there was nothing of the scholar about her. She cared least of all for the subjects I would have been interested in, such as history, but she was good at mathematics. When I was in Syria I used to get letters from her urging me to let her leave Benenden. ‘I really can’t stick another year of this place,’ she wrote. However, I felt that having embarked on a school career she must at least terminate it in the proper way, so I wrote back to her and
difficulty in establishing: that Rosalind could speak French. Madame Laurent and I had amicable conversations. She assured me that Rosalind had comported herself extremely well, had behaved always tres comme it faut–but, she said, ‘Madame, elle est d’une froideur–mais d’une froideur excessive! C’est peut-étre le phlegme brittanique.’ I said hurriedly that I was quite sure that it was le phlegme britannique. Again Madame Laurent assured me that she had tried to be like a mother to Rosalind.
work requiring thought, inspiration and tireless application; some parts of it no doubt were dull to do, and some parts highly exciting. Though you may say that a square of brocade with two clematis and a butterfly on it is a ridiculous comparison, the artist’s inner satisfaction was probably much the same. The waltz I composed was nothing to be proud of; one or two of my embroideries, however, were good of their kind, and I was pleased with them. I don’t think I went as far as being pleased