"Howell’s book makes clear that Bell’s whole life was extraordinary. Born into England’s sixth-richest family, she was furiously independent almost from the start. She declared her atheism as a girl, and later, her intolerance for pretension. ('I have had enough of these dinners where people say "I think" all the time,' she wrote home from London. She wanted to know.) She became the first woman to get a first-class degree in modern history at Oxford, the first woman ever to travel alone in the Syrian desert, the first female officer in British military intelligence . . . Howell has unearthed some wonderful material, and she wisely interweaves her text with plenty of quotations from Bell’s own trenchant prose."—Robert F. Worth, The New York Times Book Review"Georgina Howell recounts these stories with a wide-eyed admiration that is, for the most part, infectious, and her long book is a gripping read. Often pursuing themes in Bell's life, rather than bald chronology, she introduces her readers to the atmosphere of Oxford colleges, to the perils and excitements of the Alps, and to the dangers and decorum of desert life."—Jason Goodwin, The Washington Post
Georgina Howell has worked in magazine journalism since the age of seventeen. She has written for Vanity Fair and American Vogue, and has worked at The Observer, British Vogue, The Tatler, and The Sunday Times. She lives in London and Brittany.