Agatha Christie was born in Torquay in 1890 and became, quite simply, the best-selling novelist in history. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, written towards the end of the First World War, introduced us to Hercule Poirot, who was to become the most popular detective in crime fiction since Sherlock Holmes. She is known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and another billion in 100 foreign countries. She is the author of 80 crime novels and short story collections, 20 plays, and six novels under the name of Mary Westmacott.
'Agatha's most beautiful and profound play, brilliant in its delineation of character, tense with drama. The treatment comes as near to historical plausibility as any play about the past can be. The Egyptian court life and the vagaries of Egyptian religion come alive. The characters themselves are here submitted to exceptionally penetrating analytical treatment, because they are not merely subservient to the denouement of a murder plot, but each one is a prime agent in the development of a real historical drama.' MAX MALLOWAN
'Akhnaton is a drama of ruthless logic and theatrical power. It deals in a complex way with a number of issues: the difference between superstition and reverence, the danger of rash iconoclasm, the value of the arts, the nature of love, the conflicts set up by the concept of loyalty, and the tragedy apparently inherent in the inevitability of change. A fascinating play.' CHARLES OSBORNE