The Crime Museum Uncovered

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Except for the odd footprint and the few remnants of Turkish cigarette butts, Agatha Christie rarely gave us a murder mystery that wasn’t driven by the basic human nature of people. She once said, “Every murderer is probably somebody’s old friend” which makes me think that criminals do, in fact, exist among us and could potentially be one of us. More than that, a sensationalised crime sparks the curiosity of the general public and soon we’re all hooked to our tellies or furiously scrolling down our screens looking for the latest update on the current case gripping the nation. Human nature, then, has a natural tendency to be fascinated by the macabre.

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The Women of Christie (Part 1)

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Agatha Christie was born a Victorian but grew up in a time when women had one foot in a crinoline and the other down a trouser leg. The Great War came and people started toppling off their Victorian pedestals into a steadily germinating modernity. More and more women were learning how to drive, volunteering as aid during the war, running establishments and basically entering what were predominantly patriarchal roles; finally, sexual stereotypes and gender roles were being renegotiated.

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Agatha Christie and The Grand Tour

Poster of 1924 British Empire Exhibition. In a time were colonies were loosing their importance, the propaganda was meant to make the Empire feel like a solid institution.

Poster for the British Empire Exhibition, 1924. In a time were colonies were losing their importance, the propaganda was meant to make the Empire feel like a solid institution.

It doesn’t take a genius to understand how important travelling was for Agatha and how much it influenced her works during her life time. Snow Upon the Desert, her first attempt to write a novel, was set in Egypt where she stayed during her early 20s. Followed by that was Death in the CloudsMurder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile and the controversial Passenger to Frankfurt. Frequent though were her family trips around Europe, nothing was quite like the trip she made in 1922.

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ABC: Agatha Before Christie (Part 2)

Frederick Alvah Miller, Agatha Christie's father. He died when she was only 11.

Frederick Alvah Miller. He died when she was only 11.

1910 BC:  The Victorian era is over and with it all the austerity of sort. Europe, and the rest of the world is on the brink of war. The 20th century began with new resolutions but unfortunately not all expectations for what the future might have brought went as planned. Agatha knew this well, because in 1901, when she was just 11, her father, Frederick Miller, died of heart complications.

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Akhnaton Premiere

Young Agatha Miller riding a donkey in the desert. normal activities in the british coloniesYoung Agatha Miller riding a donkey in the desert. Normal activities in the British colonies

Some of you will know that Agatha Christie was greatly influenced by the Middle East thanks to her second husband Max Mallowan, whom she met during an excavation in modern Syria. But she was also very fond of Egypt, having spent her early 20s in Cairo, dancing at balls with soldiers and living the life of (as often described in her books) a “young bright thing”. Besides partying and dancing, while in Egypt she became very interested in the forgotten and almost forbidden, Pharaoh Akhenaten, husband of the well known Queen Nefertiti and father of Pharaoh Tutankhamun.

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