An English Writer of Crime and Romantic Stories.

She was born in Tourquay (England) on 15th September 1890 into a comfortable middle class family.

Her father was Frederic Albah Miller, an American stockbroker. Her mother, Clara Boehme, was from Belfast and she was an excellent storyteller.

She was educated at home because her mother Clara thought that the children mustn’t learn to read before they are eight years old. But she learnt to read alone with five years of age and read every children’sstories of that time.

She studied music. She learnt to play mandolin and piano and she could have been a professional but she was too timid to play in front of people.

Her father died when she was eleven. Later, she stated that it was the end of her childhood.

In 1910 she and her mother moved to Cairo cause her mother’s health.

When they returned to Tourquay , she met Archibal, an aviator from the Royal Flying Corps and they married in 1914.

During the First World War,she worked as a nurse in a hospital to help the wounded soldiers. At that time, she acquired knowledgeabout poisons. That was something important for her work.

She read many stories by Arthur Conan Doyle and by Wikie Collins. All stories about detectives.

In 1926 her husband told her, that he was madly in love with a family´s friend. After that, she was missing. Her car was found near a lake with all her belongings inside. A newspaper offered 1000 pounds for her location. Eleven days later, she wasfound in a hotel in Yorkshire, under the name of her husband´s lover. She didn´t know why she was there and she didn´t recognize her husband. So she was taken into a psychiatric hospital.

They divorced in 1928 and in her second travel to Bagdad, she met the archeologist Max Mallowan. They married in 1930 and because of her husband´s work, she learnt many things about archeology.

During the Second World War, she worked in the pharmacy from the University College in London. There, shecontinued to learn the poisons.

She died in Oxfordshire on 12th January 1976 with 85 years of age.

She also worked under the name of Mary Westmacott.

She was honored for her work and she received, among others:

  • The first Grand Master Award,from the Association Writer of Mystery.
  • Doctorate honorary from theExeter College, to mention a few.

There were some celebrities in her life: Colonel Hastings, Miss Marple or Hercules Poirot.

Who is she?

Bettina Bernhard

English for Fun 4B

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