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Come, Tell Me How You Live: An Archaeological Memoir Paperback – 7 Jun 1999
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‘Perfectly delightful… colourful, lively and occasionally touching and thought-provoking’
Charles Osborne, Books & Bookmen
‘Good and enjoyable… she has a delightfully light touch’
Marghanita Laski, Country Life
From the Back Cover
Agatha Christie was already well known as a crime writer when she accompanied her husband, Max Mallowan, to Syria and Iraq in the 1930s. She took enormous interest in all his excavations, and when friends asked what her strange life was like, she decided to answer their questions in this delightful book.
First published in 1946, 'Come, Tell Me How You Live' gives a charming picture of Agatha Christie herself, while also giving insight into some of her most popular novels, including 'Murder in Mesopotamia' and 'Appointment with Death'. It is, as Jacquetta Hawkes concludes in her introduction, “ a pure pleasure to read”.
“Perfectly delightful … colourful, lively and occasionally touching and thought-provoking”
CHARLES OSBORNE, 'Books & Bookmen'
“Good and enjoyable .. she has a delightfully light touch”
MARGHANITA LASKI, 'Country Life'
Top customer reviews
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Although it must have been difficult, at times, for Max Mallowan to have had such a successful and talented wife, it is fair to say that, in the Middle East, the European way of favouring women was tolerated with a certain amusement. Agatha remarks that a local Sheikh finds it almost unbelievable that women are served coffee, ahead of men. Another funny story is when a local Sheikh arrives to find Agatha completing the Times crossword. He asks Max indulgently whether his wife can read? Really, and can she write as well? How accomplished! If he only realised how very accomplished she was... I have loved Agatha Christie's novels since I was at school and how wonderful to read this memoir and realise that she was every bit as sweet and charming as I imagined her to be. This is a lovely read - not scholarly, but as though you were reading a long letter written by a friend. Christie is irreplaceable and this memoir helps explain why.
But this book is about Syria in the 1930s. Agatha Christie wrote it during the 2nd World War to remind herself of the happy time she spent there, and laments that she may never go back again. She writes of course with the outlook of her times. Syria was under colonial rule and Christie does not question this, but she does give us a picture of a land where earning money is not the most important thing, and where on the whole everybody rubs along (though they have one Christian servant with a habit of trying to run over Moslems.). We know that this land is now being destroyed and her picture of Syria now has an additional effect, to remind us of the destruction wrought by a civil war.
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