Torquay is the birthplace of The World's best selling detective fiction writer, Agatha Christie. Born into a genteel middle class family, poor investment choices and the death of her father set the family on a downward financial spiral. World War I caused a social earthquake and the young Agatha was able to shrug off the strict Victorian conventions of behaviour as she became a nurse tending to wounded soldiers. She later became a pharmacist and it was at this point that she began to gain her knowledge of poisons and to consider writing a detective story.
The story - The Mysterious Affair at Styles - was not published until after the war and it was a modest success both in terms of reviews and financial reward but it set Agatha on a writing career that lasted until her death in 1976.
Modern visitors to Torquay can follow in her foosteps and see so much of what inspired her stories. The centrepiece of any visit is Greenway, the holiday home she bought on the banks of The River Dart in 1938. This National Trust Property is open throughout the year.
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