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Mallowan's Memoirs: Agatha and the Archaeologist [Paperback]

Max Mallowan
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: £7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

4 Mar 2010

Agatha Christie’s widower’s recollections of his archaeological triumphs and life with Agatha.

In these informal, often witty and always interesting memoirs, Sir Max Mallowan tells the story of his life, from his boyhood at Lancing where he was a contemporary of Evelyn Waugh, to the days when he was elected a Fellow of All Souls and succeeded another eminent archaeologist, his friend Sir Mortimer Wheeler, as a Trustee of the British Museum.

The author was initiated into field archaeology at Ur by Leonard Woolley in 1925, and it was Woolley who first introduced him to a visiting novelist, Agatha Christie. After further excavations, Sir Max began working independently in Assyria, to which he returned each year until the outbreak of war. In 1939 he joined the Royal Air Force and was involved in several eccentric exploits before volunteering to go the Middle East where he filled various outlandish posts with skill and aplomb.

Throughout the pre-war years, the author was accompanied on all his digs by Agatha Christie, who was not only a delightful companion and organizer of creature comforts, but also took an active part in the photography, recording and preservation of the finds: some of the humorous odes she composed about her colleagues are included in these pages. Following the account of his wartime activities, Sir Max devotes four chapters to his wife’s achievements as a supreme craftsman in puzzling and holding under her spell innumerable readers, audiences and film-goers throughout the world.

The climax of the memoirs is suitably concerned with the author’s triumphant discoveries at Nimrud or Calah, the ancient capital of Assyria. Photographs of his most attractive finds are included among the excellent illustrations to this book.


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Mallowan's Memoirs: Agatha and the Archaeologist + Come, Tell Me How You Live: An Archaeological Memoir + The Grand Tour
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (4 Mar 2010)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 000733124X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007331246
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 361,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

In these informal, often witty and always interesting memoirs, Sir Max Mallowan tells the story of his life, from his boyhood at Lancing where he was a contemporary of Evelyn Waugh, to the days when he was elected a Fellow of All Souls and succeeded another eminent archaeologist, his friend Sir Mortimer Wheeler, as a Trustee of the British Museum.

The author was initiated into field archaeology at Ur by Leonard Woolley in 1925, and it was Woolley who first introduced him to a visiting novelist, Agatha Christie. After further excavations, Sir Max began working independently in Assyria, to which he returned each year until the outbreak of war. In 1939 he joined the Royal Air Force and was involved in several eccentric exploits before volunteering to go the Middle East where he filled various outlandish posts with skill and aplomb.

Throughout the pre-war years, the author was accompanied on all his digs by Agatha Christie, who was not only a delightful companion and organizer of creature comforts, but also took an active part in the photography, recording and preservation of the finds: some of the humorous odes she composed about her colleagues are included in these pages. Following the account of his wartime activities, Sir Max devotes four chapters to his wife’s achievements as a supreme craftsman in puzzling and holding under her spell innumerable readers, audiences and film-goers throughout the world.

The climax of the memoirs is suitably concerned with the author’s triumphant discoveries at Nimrud or Calah, the ancient capital of Assyria. Photographs of his most attractive finds are included among the excellent illustrations to this book.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Sir Max Mallowan was Agatha Christie’s second husband and an eminent archaeologist in his own right. The marriage between Sir Max Mallowan and Dame Agatha Christie was one of unusual distinction – a union between the most celebrated exponent of the detective novel and an archaeologist of world renown whose discoveries in Mesopotamia rank with the most important of our time. He died in 1978, the year after this book was first published.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Voyage of discovery. 2 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wanted to find out more about Max Mallowan so bought this. Although I found it very interesting reading, I also found it rather stilted at times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A view into Max's life 30 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A deep dive into this famous archaeologist's life with much talk about his wife Agatha Christie.
no mention of his lower (and colleague) who he married one year after Agatha's death and one year before his death...
For the rest is quite interesting and I liked.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars See the real Agatha behind the scenes 10 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A fantastic often overlooked book.Max Mallowan is great writer himself.If you want to know what Agatha got up too whilst not writing and have an appreciation for Mesopotamian archaeology,then this is the book for you!
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By VF
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I would recommend this book to those who are interested in Archaeology and in Agatha Christie.
The book is well written.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Digging in Syria 14 Feb 2014
By Pamela
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wonderful account of the days when archaeologists were free to wander around Syria and uncover, with the blessing of the authorities, a treasure-trove of remarkable antiquity, much of which, unfortunately, ended up in the Baghdad museum sadly left unprotected when the Americans invaded in 2003. (170,000 objects, thousands of years old and many of them discovered by Mallowan, were carted away and even destroyed by looters.)

Max Mallowan was highly respected in his particular field, which took him to the top of his profession; he writes clearly and enthusiastically about his many expeditions and in some detail. It was his painstaking and profound expertise that led to the discovery of major finds in Ur, Babylon and Nimrud.

He obviously doted on Agatha Christie, wife and his senior by some years; he devotes a whole section (part 3) to her books and includes some of her poetry, besides describing how professional she became when assisting him at the digs, carefully cleaning and photographing the assorted specimens, from pottery fragments to carved ivory plaques. She weathered sandstorm and flood, all uncomplaining, and managed to write a novel or two even in those challenging circumstances. This is not really a book for the casual reader, but for those interested in archaeology, it is a treasure indeed. After reading it, I could see, as far as Agatha was concerned, just what she liked about him. And vice-versa. Intrepid is the word, for both of them.
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