Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born on 15 September 1890 in Torquay, Devon, South West England into a comfortably well-off middle class family. She was a much loved third child with two much older siblings and as such spent a lot of time on her own. Agatha invented imaginary friends, played with her animals, attended dance classes and began writing poems when she was still a child. She taught herself to read by the age of five and devoured books like most children devoured ice-creams on the seafront of her hometown. By the age of 18, she had started writing short stories, some of which were published, and had also developed an interest in archaeology from her travels with her ailing mother.
Agatha was married twice, first to Archie Christie on Christmas Eve 1914, a tumultuous relationship that culminated in her infamous disappearance and subsequent reappearance at a spa hotel in Harrogate some days later. Secondly, to archaeologist Max Mallowan on September 11th 1930, a union that was to last the rest of her life. Agatha had one child, a daughter, Rosalind, with Archie Christie.
It was during the First World War that Agatha turned to writing detective stories and although it would take some time initially for her to find a publisher, she went on to write over 80 novels and short stories, including six under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, in the process becoming the best-selling author of all time. It is estimated that her books have sold over 2 billion copies worldwide.
Her second marriage heralded a new beginning for Agatha and she lived happily with Max until her death in 1976 – she was 85 years old. She spent many happy times at Greenway and the house is filled with memories of her family life there.