Dame Agatha Christie was born Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller on September 15, 1890 in Devon, England. She married Archibald Christie in 1914, though the two were divorced in 1928. She began her writing career with the publication of her first mystery in 1920, The Mysterious Affairs at Styles. She met Max Mallowan at the Ur excavations and married him in 1930. Christie used her experiences with the people and environment at Ur to pen Murder in Mesopotamia, which features a murder victim, Louise Leidner, who strongly resembles Katharine Woolley. She was knighted in 1971. She wrote more than 80 novels over the course of her career, and is most well known for two recurring characters, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and elderly spinster turned amateur detective Miss Jane Marple. Dame Christie died January 12, 1976 at age 85.
I fell in love with Ur, with its beautiful evenings, the ziggurat standing up, faintly shadowed…The lure of the past came up to grab me. To see a dagger slowly appearing, with its gold glint, through the sand was romantic. The carefulness of lifting pots and objects from the soil filled me with a longing to be an archaeologist myself. – Agatha Christie on Ur