- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Harper (4 Mar. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 000733124X
- ISBN-13: 978-0007331246
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Mallowan’s Memoirs: Agatha and the Archaeologist Paperback – 4 Mar 2010
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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 alternate Paperback edition.
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
It starts with "I was born...." and continues in this vein. He lists the schools he attends, who his teachers were, shares a few pranks the schoolboys played, and so on. Although he talks about interesting people - like Katherine Woolley - he is so careful to steer away from critical remarks and controversy that the people and don't come to life on these pages. Well, he wasn't a writer, and his talents lay elsewhere.
For a more readable, vibrant memoir about life in early 20th century archaeology in the Middle East, I suggest 'Come Tell Me How You Live: An Archaeological Memoir' by written by his wife, Agatha Christie. Come, Tell Me How You Live: An Archaeological Memoir
I recommend it, if you like that sort of thing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a fascinating read. Even if you aren't into archeology it gives a wonderful insight into the life of the Mallowan's and the lady we all know as Agatha Christie.Published 21 months ago by RFH
Sir Max was married to Agatha Christie so as well as details about his archaelogical digs there is additional detail of his life with Agatha. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Jengen
Good to know something of the man she married and his reflections of Agtha. A fine work.Published 22 months ago by Norman Ritchie