Taught at home by a tutor, as a child Agatha Christie never attended school. She invented games to keep herself occupied at a very young age. A shy child, she could not express her feelings; she first used music as a means of expression and, later, writing. In 1914, at the age of 24, she married Archie Christie, a pilot.
While he was at war, she worked as a nurse, and, working in a hospital, Christie first had the idea of writing a detective novel.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles gave the world Hercule Poirot, a retired Belgian police officer who would become one of the most famous characters in fiction. He was a meticulous, slightly absurd little man. Christie wrote more than 30 novels where Poirot appeared. In 1926, Archie asked for a divorce. Agatha immediately disappeared, and all England became excited about “The case of the missing writer”. She was found three weeks later, explaining to police that she had lost her memory.
She found happiness by marrying Max Mallowan, a young archaeologist whom she met on a trip to Mesopotamia. Another of Christie’s most well-known characters was introduced in 1930: Miss Jane Marple, an elderly spinster in the English village of St. Mary Mead, who solved mysteries with concentration and intuition. Christie wrote over 66 novels, numerous short stories and screenplays. Several of her works were made into successful films, such as Murder on the Orient Express (1974). Her work has been translated into more than a hundred languages. In short, she is the most popular mystery writer of all time.
1. Write a summary of the text in English, including the most important points, using your own words whenever possible (maximum 40 words).
2. Explain in English the meaning of the following expressions as used in the text:
a) she had lost her memory. She couldn’t remember anything / she had forgotten everything (that had happened).
b) she is the most popular mystery writer of all time. There has never been a more popular mystery writer.
3. Complete the second sentence of each pair so that it has the same meaning as the first one.
a) She invented games to keep herself occupied.
- She invented games because she was bored / because she wanted to be busy / occupied.b) At the age of 24, she married Archie Christie.
4. Answer the following questions in your own words. The information must be taken from the text.
a) What different kinds of writing did Agatha Christie do? She wrote novels, especially detective novels, short stories and screenplays.
b) In what ways was Agatha Christie different from most other people? She was different because she never went to school, she was very shy and she wrote a lot of popular books. So she was very famous, and her books have been translated into many languages.
5. Do you think rich or famous people are happier than the rest of us? Give reasons. (Approximately 80 words)
I think that most people want to be rich and famous, but when they get what they want, they always want more, so they are never completely happy. For example, Marilyn Monroe was rich and famous, but she was very sad and killed herself. This is probably because there is always somebody who has more fame or money than them. We should be happy and satisfied with the things we have because, as the Buddhists say, it is desire that makes us sad.