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Agatha Christie Memorial - Cranbourn Street, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 30.705 W 000° 07.635
30U E 699335 N 5710648
Quick Description: The memorial, that takes the form of a book with a bust of Agatha Christie at its centre, is mounted on a plinth at the junction of Cranbourn Street and Great Newport Street in London's theatreland.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 6/19/2014 9:12:39 AM
Waymark Code: WMKZ5D
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member NCDaywalker
Views: 2

Long Description:

The Agatha Christie Memorial website tells us:

The Memorial is in the form of a book, about 2.4 metres high, made in bronze, which appears to float above its base.  It is lit from below as well as from within, and contains an over-life-size bust of Agatha Christie, as well as images of some of her greatest creations, and information about her life and work.  It looks wonderful both in daylight and after dark.  On the Memorial appear the following texts, together with titles of 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 titles included were chosen in a competition among her fans.

Inscribed on the front cover is:
 

Agatha
Christie
1890 - 1976

The spine carries the same inscription and has a relief bust of Agatha Christie.

The rear cover is inscribed:

DAME AGATHA CHRISTIE DBE
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

The inscription on the plinth below the front cover tells us:

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.

Whilst the inscription on the plinth beneath the back cover adds:

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 Biography website tells us about Christie:

Synopsis

Born on September 15, 1890, in Torquay, England, Agatha Christie published her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in 1920, and went on to become one of the most famous writers in history, with mysteries like Murder at the Vicarage, Partners in Crime and Sad Cypress. She sold billions of copies of her work, and was also a noted playwright and romance author. She died on January 12, 1976.

Background

Best-selling author Agatha Christie was born Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller on September 15, 1890, in Torquay, Devon, in the southwest part of England. The youngest of three siblings, she was educated at home by her mother, who encouraged her daughter to write. As a child, Christie enjoyed fantasy play and creating characters, and, when she was 16, moved to Paris for a time to study vocals and piano.

In 1914, she wed Colonel Archibald Christie, a Royal Flying Corps pilot, and took up nursing during World War I. She published her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in 1920; the story focused on the murder of a rich heiress and introduced readers to one of Christie's most famous characters—Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.

Fame and Tumult

In 1926, Christie released The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, a hit which was later marked as a genre classic and one of the author's all-time favorites. She dealt with tumult that same year, however, as her mother died and her husband revealed that he was in a relationship with another woman. Traumatized by the revelation, Christie disappeared only to be discovered by authorities several days later at a Harrogate hotel, registered under the name of her husband's mistress.

Christie would recover, with her and Archibald divorcing in 1928. In 1930, she married archaeology professor Max Mallowan, with whom she travelled on several expeditions, later recounting her trips in the 1946 memoir Come, Tell Me How You Live. The year of her new nuptials also saw the release of Murder at the Vicarage, which became another classic and introduced readers to Miss Jane Marple, an enquiring village lady.

Cast of Characters

Poirot and Marple are Christie's most well-known detectives, with the two featured in dozens of novels and short stories. Poirot made the most appearances in Christie's work in titles that included Ackroyd, The Mystery of the Blue Train (1928) and Death in the Clouds (1935). Miss Marple has been featured in books like The Moving Finger (1942) and A Pocket Full of Rye (1953), and been played on screen by actresses like Angela Lansbury, Helen Hayes and Geraldine McEwan. Other notable Christie characters include Tuppence and Tommy Beresford, Colonel Race, Parker Pyne and Ariadne Oliver.

Sold More Than Two Billion Copies

Writing well into her later years, Christie wrote more than 70 detective novels as well as short fiction. Though she also wrote romance novels like Unfinished Portrait (1934) and A Daughter's a Daughter (1952) under the name Mary Westmacott, Christie's success as an author of sleuth stories has earned her titles like the "Queen of Crime" and the "Queen of Mystery." Christie can also be considered a queen of all publishing genres as she is one of the top-selling authors in history, with her combined works selling more than 2 billion copies worldwide.

Christie was a renowned playwright as well, with works like The Hollow (1951) and Verdict (1958). Her play The Mousetrap opened in 1952 at the Ambassador Theatre and—at more than 8,800 showings during 21 years—holds the record for the longest unbroken run in a London theater. Additionally, several of Christie's works have become popular movies, including Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and Death on the Nile (1978).

Christie was made a dame in 1971. In 1974, she made her last public appearance for the opening night of the play version of Murder on the Orient Express. Christie died on January 12, 1976.

Website with more information on either the memorial or the person(s) it is dedicated to: [Web Link]

Location: Junction of Cranbourn Street and Great Newport Street

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