Author(s): Gertrude Bell
Gertrude Bell CBE is rightly known as 'The Queen of the Desert' and a new Hollywood film based on her life, featuring Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Damian Lewis and Robert Pattinson is due for release in 2015.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. Despite the many achievements of her working life, sadly her personal life was marred by losing the great love of her life, Major Charles Doughty-Wylie, from which she never recovered. She died in 1926 of an apparent overdose of sleeping pills. With extracts from two of Bell's most compelling works of travel writing, Persian Pictures and Syria: The Desert and the Sown, this Hesperus edition is truly a unique collection of work.
'I'm completely enraptured with her. She basically defined the borders between Iraq and Jordan that exist today' Nicole Kidman 'Bell's achievement as a nation builder was extraordinary' The New York Times 'A gap-year adventurer ahead of her time, who preferred wandering the Arabian Desert to life as a debutante in Victorian London' Guardian
Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell, CBE (1868-1926) was an English writer, traveller, political officer, administrator, archaeologist and spy who explored and mapped 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.