FACT CHECK: Did Agatha Christie Say, ‘The Secret Of Getting Ahead Is Getting Started’?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A Facebook post credits mystery novelist Agatha Christie with saying, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that this statement originated with Christie.

Fact Check:

Christie was a best-selling author known for her numerous mystery novels. Many of her works, including “Murder on the Orient Express” and “The ABC Murders,” feature her popular detective character Hercule Poirot.

However, the quote attributed to her in the Facebook post appears nowhere in these novels, or any of her others. Searching her autobiography and collections of her short stories and plays turned up no matches either.

Two experts told the Daily Caller via email that they did not recognize the quote as being Christie’s, though “Agatha Christie at Home” author Hilary Macaskill noted that it sounded like something the mystery writer would say.

“She did write about her own experience of writing and did give advice,” said Macaskill, “but after also checking through my files, I can see nothing that approximates this statement. (RELATED: Did E.M. Forster Say ‘We Must Be Willing To Let Go Of The Life We Have Planned’?)

The website Quote Investigator traced a variation of the quote back to a 1923 issue of the Coshocton Tribune newspaper, where it appeared in an advertisement that read, “Half the game of getting ahead is just getting started.”

It has also been falsely attributed to author and satirist Mark Twain.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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