A Woman in Arabia
Author: Gertrude Lowthian Bell
A portrait in her own words of the female Lawrence of Arabia. One of the great woman adventurers of the twentieth century and the chief architect of British policy in the Middle East after World War 1, Gertrude Bell turned her back on Victorian society to study at Oxford and travel the world. Mountaineer, archaeologist, Arabist, writer, poet, linguist, and spy, she dedicated her life to championing the Arab cause and was instrumental in drawing the borders that define today's Middle East. As she wrote in one of her letters, 'It's a bore being a woman when you are in Arabia.' Forthright and spirited, opinionated and playful, and deeply instructive about the Arab world, this volume brings together Bell's letters, military dispatches, diary entries, and travel writings to offer an intimate look at a woman who shaped nations. 'Her letters are exactly herself-eager, interested, almost excited...... .She kept an everlasting freshness; or a least, however tired she was, she could always get up enough interest to match that of anyone who came to see her. I don't think I ever met anyone more entirely civilized, in the sense of her width of intellectual sympathy.' T. E. Lawrence
Author: Janet Wallach
This “richly textured biography” (Chicago Tribune) inspired the mesmerizing documentary, Letters from Baghdad, now in theaters. Here is the story of Gertrude Bell, who explored, mapped, and excavated the Arab world throughout the early twentieth century. Recruited by British intelligence during World War I, she played a crucial role in obtaining the loyalty of Arab leaders, and her connections and information provided the brains to match T. E. Lawrence's brawn. After the war, she played a major role in creating the modern Middle East and was, at the time, considered the most powerful woman in the British Empire. In this masterful biography, Janet Wallach shows us the woman behind these achievements–a woman whose passion and defiant independence were at odds with the confined and custom-bound England she left behind. Too long eclipsed by Lawrence, Gertrude Bell emerges at last in her own right as a vital player on the stage of modern history, and as a woman whose life was both a heartbreaking story and a grand adventure.
Queen of the Desert
Author: Fergus Mason
Publisher: BookCaps Study Guides
T.E. Lawrence is often credited with bringing diplomacy to the Middle East; in the shadows of every great man you will often find an even greater woman. In Lawrence’s case, that woman’s name was Gertrude Bell. In a time when women didn't go to school, Bell did; in a time when women didn't join the army, Bell secured a job at the Army Intelligence Headquarters in Cairo; she spoke Arabic, Persian, French and German. She knew the Middle Eastern terrain and culture better than almost any Westerner of her time. In a male driven world, Bell managed to become one of the greatest policy makers the world has ever known; without her, the Middle East might very well be a much different place, and her influence in the territory gave her the nickname "Queen of the Desert." This biography tells the extraordinary story of one of the most adventurous and fascinating women you will ever encounter.
Queen of the Desert
Author: Georgina Howell
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Archaeologist, spy, Arabist, linguist, author, poet, photographer, mountaineer and nation builder, Gertrude Bell was born in 1868 into a world of privilege and plenty, but she turned her back on all that for her passion for the Arab peoples, becoming the architect of the independent kingdom of Iraq and seeing its first king Faisal safely onto the throne in 1921. Queen of the Desert is her story, vividly told and impeccably researched, drawing on Gertrude's own writings, both published and unpublished. Previously published as Daughter of the Desert, this is a compelling portrait of a woman who transcended the restrictions of her class and age and in so doing created a remarkable and enduring legacy. 'What a great Oscar-laden biopic this will make ...the combination of epic scenes and personal drama makes Georgina Howell's saga a winner' Daily Express 'Howell sketches in the gradations of colour and emotion that have been lacking in hitherto monochrome accounts of Bell's life ... Exemplary' Sunday Times 'Riveting ... few women have had a life more worth reading about.' Diana Athill, Literary Review
Gertrude Bell, happily for her family and friends, was one of the people whose lives can be reconstructed from correspondence. Through all her wanderings, whether far or near, she kept in the closest touch with her home, always anxious to share her experiences and impressions with her family, to chronicle for their benefit all that happened to her, important or unimportant: whether a stirring tale of adventure or an account of a dinner party. Those letters, varied, witty, enthralling, were a constant joy through the years to all those who read them. It was fortunate for the recipients that the act of writing, the actual driving of the pen, seemed to be no more of an effort to Gertrude than to remember and record all that the pen set down.
Author: Georgina Howell
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
A marvelous tale of an adventurous life of great historical import She has been called the female Lawrence of Arabia, which, while not inaccurate, fails to give Gertrude Bell her due. She was at one time the most powerful woman in the British Empire: a nation builder, the driving force behind the creation of modern-day Iraq. Born in 1868 into a world of privilege, Bell turned her back on Victorian society, choosing to read history at Oxford and going on to become an archaeologist, spy, Arabist, linguist, author (of Persian Pictures, The Desert and the Sown, and many other collections), poet, photographer, and legendary mountaineer (she took off her skirt and climbed the Alps in her underclothes). She traveled the globe several times, but her passion was the desert, where she traveled with only her guns and her servants. Her vast knowledge of the region made her indispensable to the Cairo Intelligence Office of the British government during World War I. She advised the Viceroy of India; then, as an army major, she traveled to the front lines in Mesopotamia. There, she supported the creation of an autonomous Arab nation for Iraq, promoting and manipulating the election of King Faisal to the throne and helping to draw the borders of the fledgling state. Gertrude Bell, vividly told and impeccably researched by Georgina Howell, is a richly compelling portrait of a woman who transcended the restrictions of her class and times, and in so doing, created a remarkable and enduring legacy. " ... there’s never a dull moment in the peerless life of this trailblazing character." - Kirkus Reviews
Author: Gertrude Lowthian Bell
A woman far ahead of her time, Gertrude gained a first from Oxford at a time when very few subjects were even open to women. She went on to take an active interest in politics before embarking on her one-woman travels across the Middle East. She chronicled her journeys through Iraq, Persia, Syria and beyond and her important diplomatic work, with characteristic wit and incisiveness.
The Arab War
Author: Gertrude Lowthian Bell
Publisher: eStar Books
A fascinating look at the politics of the Arab world in the 1920’s. These were originally Confidential Information Despatches for General Headquarters (in England) written by Gertrude Bell which were gathered and printed in the 1940’s.
"Yet behind Gertrude Bell's public success was a backdrop of personal passions, desires and the relationships that drove this extraordinary woman. Embroiled in an unsuccessful love affair with Charles Doughty-Wylie, a married man, she found peace in the solitude of the desert. But the seemingly intractable problems of the newly independent Iraq led her to write of the 'weariness of it all'. Shortly afterward she took her own life with a lethal dose of sleeping pills." "Using previous unseen sources, including Gertrude Bell's own diaries and letters, Liora Lukitz provides a deeper political and personal biography of this influential character. A Quest in the Middle East is a lyrical and illuminating portrait of a woman born ahead of her time, grappling with issues that would shape the future of the Middle East."--BOOK JACKET.
Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell, (1868 - 1926) was an English writer, traveller, political officer, administrator, archaeologist and spy who explored, mapped, and became highly influential to British imperial policy-making due to her skill and contacts, built up through extensive travels in Greater Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and Arabia. Along with T. E. Lawrence, Bell helped establish the Hashemite dynasties in what is today Jordan as well as in Iraq. She played a major role in establishing and helping administer the modern state of Iraq, utilising her unique perspective from her travels and relations with tribal leaders throughout the Middle East. During her lifetime she was highly esteemed and trusted by British officials and given an immense amount of power for a woman at the time. She has been described as "one of the few representatives of His Majesty's Government remembered by the Arabs with anything resembling affection."
The extraordinary life of Gertrude Bell was marked by myriad achievements. Although best known for her intrepid desert travels and her part in the creation of the modern state of Iraq, she also made a significant contribution to the field of archaeology. At the height of her career, Bell journeyed into the heart of the Middle East retracing the steps of the ancient rulers who left tangible markers of their presence in the form of castles, palaces, mosques, tombs and temples. Among the many sites she visited were Ephesus, Binbirkilise and Carchemish in modern-day Turkey as well as Ukhaidir, Babylon and Najaf within the borders of modern Iraq. Lisa Cooper here explores Bell’s achievements, emphasizing the tenacious, inquisitive side of her extraordinary personality, the breadth of her knowledge and her overall contribution to the archaeology of the Middle East. Featuring many of Bell’s own photographs, this is a unique portrait of a remarkable life