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Agatha Christie by Mind Map: Agatha Christie
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Agatha Christie

The Author as a Product

Goffman wrote about the awareness of self as others perceive.  Christie (as well as her trust and the marketers of her biographies and adaptations) has been a genius at self presentation. With her expert narration, she is a character in her novels as much as Poirot and Marple.

"The Queen of Crime"

Her 11 day disappearance after revelation of her husbands affair was believed to be a publicity stunt (1926)

Icon of an English Lady

Subject of BBC Biography, Agatha Christie: A Life in Pictures (2004)

Academic study recently published in the Guardian speculates on aging Christie's mental health

Began with Mystery Novels

Estimated 4 billion copies sold

Vignettes of Upper Middle Class manners and lifestyle

At the time these novels were escapist, as many of her readers where in fact struggling with economic hardship and the terror of two world wars.  Today they can be read with a certain nostalgia for the past, an inquiry into an ideal that never truly existed. 

2 protagonists: dignified Belgian Hercule Poirot & elderly spinster Miss Marple

Part of the Golden Age in Detective Fiction

Keeping Current


Continuing into the information society.  Media discussing media, selling itself, in an interactive format where anyone can participate.

The Business

Agatha Christie Ltd. estate manages the media and literary rights to all works

All licensing arrangements made in association with Chorion, offices in UK, USA, Australia and Japan

Historical Context

First novel: 1920

Capital Punishment

After two innocent men were hanged in 1950s Britian, public opinion was increasingly set against capital punishment. In 1957 it was abolished for certain categories of murder: people who murdered on more than one occasion, murdered during a robbery, or killed an on duty policeman or prison officer. In 1965, hanging was abolished for a period of 5 years. However in 1969 it was abolished for all kinds of murder.


Christie's novels prior to the Second World War (when such attitudes were more commonly expressed publicly) contain offensive references to Italians, Jews, and non-Europeans generally.  Though most of these connotations were later edited out, Christie will often use physical features to describe people by race.