|Airdate||February 27, 2007|
Agatha Christie launched in BrainPOP English & Social Studies February 27, 2007.
Transcript and QuizEdit
Unsolved Mysteries Edit
In 1926, Agatha Christie was involved of a real life mystery story.
On December 3, Christie’s husband informed her that he was having an affair with another woman and that he wanted to get divorced. After her husband went off to be with his mistress, Agatha disappeared. But not before sending a letter to the police that she was afraid for her life...
Christie’s car was soon found in a chalk pit in Newlands Corner, England. But Christie was no where to be found! In the car were just a suitcase and some clothes. The police searched the area but with no luck.
Almost two weeks later, Christie appeared in a hotel in the town of Harrogate, Yorkshire. She claimed to be suffering from amnesia, a psychological disorder that causes the inability to remember certain memories. Christie said she thought she got amnesia as a result of a nervous breakdown from the news of her husband and the pain of the recent death of her mother.
Not everyone believed Christie’s story, however. Some people thought the whole thing was planned as a way to get back at her husband. Others believed that the disappearance was a publicity stunt pulled to increase interest in her work. The case has never fully been solved!
Arts And Entertainment Edit
The Mystery Writers of America, an organization for mystery writers, gives out a few awards every year. Their highest honor is the Grand Master Award, given for lifetime achievement in writing mysteries and detective fiction. The first person to win the award was Agatha Christie in 1955. Here are some other famous recipients — if you haven’t heard of them, we bet your parents and teachers have!
Alfred Hitchcock (1973)
Graham Greene (1976)
Daphne du Maurier (1978)
John le Carré (1984)
Tony Hillerman (1991)
Elmore Leonard (1992)
Lawrence Block (1994)
Dick Francis (1996)
P.D. James (1999)
Mary Higgins Clark (2000)
Robert B. Parker (2002)
Ira Levin (2003)
Stephen King (2007, pictured)
Real Life Edit
One of Agatha Christie’s most famous novels is called Murder on the Orient Express. The real Orient Express was a passenger train that opened on October 4th, 1883, and ran, with the help of a few ferries, from Paris to Istanbul, Turkey.
The train began to run directly from Paris to Istanbul in 1889. Although service stopped during the First World War, the line reopened, becoming more and more popular through the 1930s with three separate lines taking different routes throughout Europe.
The Orient Express became famous because it was not only the simplest but also the most luxurious way to cross the continent, with comfortable sleeping cars and restaurants that served world-class meals. Everyone from ordinary middle-class folks to nobles and royalty took the Orient Express.
The original Orient Express route is no longer served by a train with the same name (its route has been cut to serve only between Strasbourg, Germany and Vienna, Austria). However, there are other trains that currently make similar treks throughout Europe.
They may be fictional, but they’re still pretty famous personalities! Two detectives show up in many of Agatha Christie’s mysteries: Miss Jane Marple and Hercule Poirot.
Miss Marple, created in 1930, is a gentle-looking woman who lives in a quiet village in the English countryside. Despite her unassuming appearance, Miss Marple is a shrewd and clever detective — and it doesn’t hurt that criminals continually underestimate her, thinking she’s just a harmless old lady. But, as Agatha Christie once said, Miss Marple “expected the worst of everyone and everything and was with almost frightening accuracy, usually proved right.” Miss Marple shows up in 12 novels and 20 short stories.
Hercule Poirot, on the other hand, is well-known as a brilliant detective. A retired Belgian police officer, Poirot is a short but dignified man who pays close attention to the psychology of the murderer in order to solve cases so difficult they seem impossible. Poirot thinks pretty highly of himself, and he loves to make a big show out of announcing the solution to the mystery in front of a crowd of admiring witnesses. He appears in 33 novels and 54 short stories. When he “died” in 1975, in the last of the 33 novels in which he appears, The New York Times gave him a front page obituary!
Primary Source Edit
In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days. The search for the missing author became an international news story.
"Cost of Search for Mrs. Christie Riles Taxpayers"
Harrogate, England, December fifteenth (AP)-
Curiosity of a maid servant at a Harrogate hydropathic hotel has brought a solution of a mystery that puzzled the authorities and held the interest of all England for more than a week.
Agatha Clarissa Christie, American writer of detective stories, missing since her strange disappearance from her home in Sunningdale on the night of December third, was located yesterday through the inquisitiveness of this servant. The employee noticed a similarity between the woman who had registered at the hotel as Mrs. Teresa Neele and published portraits of the missing author for whom a countrywide search had been under way, even to the extent of dragging lakes and ponds near her home.
Disappearance Reason a Puzzle.
To the mystery of the disappearance of Mrs. Christie, however, an equal mystery has succeeded- what prompted her withdrawal to comparative seclusion? The question is being asked whether it was due to some uncontrollable stimulus, such as mental derangement or whether the writer disappeared with the deliberate intention of putting into effect her known idea that it is easy to engineer a successful disappearance.
When word came from the hotel, about 170 miles from the Christie home in Sunningdale, Colonel Archibald Christie hurried to Harrogate, and after a reunion with his wife he announced that he was very positive she had completely lost her memory and was unaware of her own identity although he said she recognized him.
Now that it has been shown that Mrs. Christie did not perish on the Surrey Downs, as had been generally assumed, the people are beginning to ask why such prominence was given to her disappearance while scores of similar cases in England annually pass with little notice.
"Cost of Search for Mrs. Christie Riles Taxpayers." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle 15 Dec. 1926: 3. Print.