Come, Tell Me How You Live

  • Nonfiction-about
  • 1946

A non-fiction account of Agatha Christie's journeys with her archaeologist husband, Max Mallowan, giving an intimate insight into their travels together as well as many of the inspirations which fed into her novels and plays.

Colourful, lively, occasionally touching and thought-provoking.

Charles Osbourne, Books & Bookmen

More about this story

To the world she was Agatha Christie, legendary author of bestselling whodunits. But in the 1930s she wore a different hat, travelling with her husband, renowned archaeologist Max Mallowan, as he investigated the buried ruins and ancient wonders of Syria and Iraq. When friends asked what this strange 'other life' was like, she decided to answer their questions by writing down her adventures in this eye-opening book.

Described by the author as a 'meandering chronicle of life on an archaeological dig', Come, Tell Me How You Live is Agatha Christie's personal memoir of her time spent in this breathtaking corner of the globe, living among the working men in tents in the desert where recorded human history began. Acclaimed as 'a pure pleasure to read', it is a fascinating, vibrant and vivid portrait of everyday life in a world now long since vanished.

It has never been adapted.

Did you know?

  1. The title is a quote from the White Knight’s poem in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, but it is also the title of a light-hearted poem Agatha Christie wrote for Max, where she questions his work and pokes fun at her own, the narrator of the poem daydreaming about murders while the archaeologist tries to explain his excavation.

  2. She wrote the memoir in response to friends’ queries about their life in the Middle East and fought with her publishers to have it printed. She notes in her autobiography “They were suspicious and disapproving, afraid that I was getting completely out of hand…However, the book was a success, and I think they then regretted that paper was so short.”

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