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Title: Come, Tell Me How You Live (Archaeologists in Syria). An engaging record of an archaeological expedition to the Near East before the war (WWII).
Description: New York, Dodd, Mead, 1946. First Edition with matching dates of 1946 on the title and copyright pages. Handsomely bound in finely woven blue cloth stamped brightly in gilt on the spine. Light rubbing to the extremities; corners lightly bumped and tiny nibbles at the bottom center of the of the fore-edges. With numerous photos of Syrian life decorating the endpapers. Clean and tight throughout. In an original dust jacket, heavily worn and chipped and separated along the front fold. The price of $3.00 is at the top of the front inside flap. Several large pieces missing at the top of the spine ends and along the top of the front panel edge, not affecting any of the title lettering. Small chips at the bottom of the spine ends and the corners. Light soiling to the rear panel. Unaccountably scarce, especially in an original jacket. Christie writes as the memoir opens: “This book is an answer. It is the answer to a question that is asked me very often. ‘So you dig in Syria, do you? Do tell me all about it. How do you live? In a tent?í etc, etc,” adding a little later: “This is not a profound book Ö It is, in fact, small beer ñ a very little book, full of everyday doings and happenings.” Its opening pages see her describing her travails attempting to find a suitable outfit for her travels: “‘Of course, Modom, we are not being asked for that kind of thing just now! We have some very charming little suits here - OS [outsize] in the darker colours.í Oh, loathsome OS! How humiliating to be OS! How even more humiliating to be recognised at once as OS!” writes Christie, cheerily. More than 70 years ago, Christie recorded her arrival at Palmyra, her usually light tone giving way to one of genuine emotion. “After seven hours of heat and monotony and a lonely world ñ Palmyra! That, I think, is the charm of Palmyra ñ its slender creamy beauty rising up fantastically in the middle of hot sand,” she writes. “It is lovely and fantastic and unbelievable, with all the theatrical implausibility of a dream. Courts and temples and ruined columns Ö I have never been able to decide what I really think of Palmyra. It has always for me the dreamlike quality of that first vision. My aching head and eyes made it more than ever seem a feverish delusion! It isnít - it canít be ñ real.” Going to the “holy shrine of Sheikh Adi Ö situated in the Kurdish hills near Mosul”, described last year as “hell on earth” in a Guardian piece, she writes that “there can be, I think, no spot in the world so beautiful or so peaceful”. “You wind up far into the hills through oak trees and pomegranates, following a mountain stream. The air is fresh and clear and pure,” records the novelist. “And then, suddenly, you come to the white spires of the shrine. All is calm and gentle and peaceful there. There are trees, a courtyard, running water. Gentle-faced custodians bring you refreshments and you sit in perfect peace, sipping tea.” (The Guardian) .


Price: US$ 500.00 Seller: Brainerd F. Phillipson, Rare Books
- Book number: B449

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