From BBC radio 4 Extra:
“Her adventure had been taken at a moment of major personal change; mine was beginning at a moment that could change the world”.
In 1928, crime writer Agatha Christie made a spur-of-the-moment decision to go on holiday, alone, to Iraq. Then in her late thirties she was already a popular and successful novelist, but her 14 year marriage to Archie Christie had recently ended and her comfortable life at Sunningdale had become oppressive.
In the first of five readings from his book, Andrew Eames describes how 75 years later on, on the eve of the second Gulf War, he set out to trace Agatha’s journey and explore her reasons for making it.
Retracing the crime writer’s Middle Eastern journey of 1928, Andrew Eames recalls taking the Orient Express train to Istanbul.
Retracing the English crime writer’s 1928 journey to Iraq, Andrew Eames recalls stopping off for a steam bath in Damascus.
Retracing the English crime writer’s 1928 journey, Andrew Eames’s coach party arrives in Baghdad on the eve of war, but the welcome from the locals is friendly.
Retracing the English crime writer’s 1928 journey, Andrew Eames visits the ancient city of Ur, where Agatha met her future husband, archaeologist Max Mallowan.
Abridged by Laurence Wareing.
Producer: David Jackson Young
First broadcast on BBC Radio in 2004.