WRITER AND PLAYWRIGHT
This Memorial was unveiled by her grandson Mathew Prichard CBE, Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen Bt., Chairman of Mousetrap Productions,
and the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Angela Harvey on 18th November 2012.
The unveiling also marked 60 years and 25,000 London performances of her play The Mousetrap.
Sculptor: Ben Twiston-Davies Architects: Donald Insall Associates
Agatha Christie’s books have sold over two billion copies in 100 languages, more than any other modern writer. Her work has been widely adapted for the cinema, radio and television.
THE MOUSETRAP, the world’s longest-running show, opened in 1952 at the Ambassadors Theatre and has played at the St Martin’s Theatre since 1973. In 1954 she became the first woman to have three plays running in London at the same time.
Hercule Poirot, the all-knowing Belgian detective, first appeared in 1920 in Agatha Christie’s first book, THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES. Miss Jane Marple, her all-seeing village spinster, followed a few years later.
THE MOUSETRAP, her many other plays, and more than eighty novels and books of short stories brought Agatha Christie world-wide fame in her lifetime. Through her unique understanding of human nature, her dramatic skills and mastery of the art of story-telling she has become one of the most successful and best loved writers of all time.
Agatha Christie, née Miller, was born on 15 September 1890 in Torquay, Devon. Educated at home, she acquired as a child her lifelong passion for reading and writing. Knowledge of poisons, gained as a pharmaceutical dispenser in the 1914-18 war, proved invaluable for her crime writing. She married Archie Christie in 1914; their daughter Rosalind was born in 1919.
A devotee of travel, she gave many books foreign settings, especially in the Middle East, where she assisted her second husband, the
archaeologist Max Mallowan, on his expeditions in Syria and Iraq. Her daughter, her son-in-law Anthony Hicks, her grandson Mathew Prichard, born in 1943, and all who knew it shared her great love for Greenway, her house on the River Dart, which her family later gave to the National Trust.
Agatha Christie was appointed Dame Commander of the British
Empire in 1971. She died on 12 January 1976.
The titles below were chosen in a competition among her fans. They include some of her most popular and famous books and plays, in English and some of the many other languages into which her work has been translated.
The Memorial is a large book , an embossed leather-bound volume such as might be found in the library in one of her stories.
It is decorated with motifs of Agatha Christie’s work, embedded into the overall design, as are the clues in her mysteries.
Mousetrap crests mark the continuing success of the world’s longest-running show.
Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple are both there, with an express train, a country house, a typewriter and the pyramids.
Agatha Christie’s stylish signature is both a logo, and a type of fingerprint.
The centerpiece is a larger than life-size bust of the world’s most successful novelist.
At top and bottom the decorative border is a celluloid film strip, marking her film and TV productions, while there are theatrical swag curtains recognising her successful plays.
There is a long shelf of Agatha Christie’s bestsellers, their titles in English and 30 foreign languages (plus braille) reminding us of her very international appeal.