Wednesday, September 15, 2010


In late 1926, Agatha's husband, Archie, revealed that he was in love with another woman, Nancy Neele, and wanted a divorce. On December 8, 1926, the couple quarreled, and Archie Christie left their house Styles in Sunningdale, Berkshire, to spend the weekend with his mistress at Godalming, Surrey. That same evening Agatha disappeared from her home, leaving behind a letter for her secretary saying that she was going to Yorkshire. Her disappearance caused an outcry from the public, many of whom were admirers of Agatha Christie's novels. Despite a massive manhunt, she was not found for eleven days.

Eleven days after her disappearance, Christie was identified as a guest at the Swan Hydropathic Hotel (now the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate, Yorkshire, where she was registered as 'Mrs Teresa Neele' from Cape Town. Christie gave no account of her disappearance. Although two doctors had diagnosed her as suffering from psychogenic fugue, opinion remains divided as to the reasons for her disappearance. One suggestion is that she had suffered a nervous breakdown brought about by a natural propensity for depression, exacerbated by her mother's death earlier that year and the discovery of her husband's infidelity. Public reaction at the time was largely negative, with many believing it a publicity stunt while others speculated she was trying to make the police believe her husband had killed her.