Abstract: Agatha Christie, Archaeology and Alzheimer’s


Agatha Christie is known as one of the greatest mystery novelist of the 20th century, but few people also know that she was married to renowned Mesopotamian archaeologist Max Mallowan.  Agatha spent much of her life living and working on archaeological excavations and her love of the Middle East and the life she and her husband lived there is reflected in many of her novels including Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, and Murder in Mesopotamia.  She herself reflected on how similar the work of an archaeologist and a detective were and was just as suited to unravelling mysteries in the field as upon the page of her books.

This lecture will examine some of the archaeological sites that Agatha and Max excavated, as well as how this work and the mystery novelist’s life were revealed within the pages of her books.  Furthermore, her literary corpus is now being used to try to unravel the mysteries of the human mind as a University of Toronto team examine the works for prolific writers for signs of the onset of Alzheimer’s.


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:

Any of Agatha Christie’s novels, particularly note those above.

Come, Tell Me How You Live, by Agatha Christie Mallowan

An Autobiography, by Agatha Christie

Mallowan’s Memoirs, by Max Mallowan


Two websites of note:



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