Gertrude Bell

Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations

Georgina Howell

Sarah Crichton Books

Download Image Georgina Howell Gertrude Bell

Available Formats

BookeBook
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.

Connect with the Author

Georgina Howell

Related Links


Sign Up for
Author Updates

Macmillan Newsletter


Sign up to receive information about new books, author events, and special offers.

Sign up now

Book Excerpts

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

GERTRUDE AND FLORENCE

mmm

 It is 22 March 1921, the last day of the Cairo Conference and the final opportunity for the British to determine the postwar future of the Middle East. Like any tourists, the delegation make the routine tour of the pyramids and have themselves photographed on camels in front of the Sphinx. Standing beneath its half-effaced head, two of the most famous Englishmen of the twentieth century confront the camera in some disarray: Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill, who has just, to the amusement of all, fallen off his camel, and T.

Read the full excerpt

Back

Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

Back

About the Author

Georgina Howell

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.

Georgina Howell

Back

Buy the Book

Available Formats and Book Details

Gertrude Bell
Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations
Georgina Howell

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Sarah Crichton Books
April 2008
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780374531355
ISBN10: 0374531358
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 512 pages, Includes 16 Pages of Black-and-White Illustrations, 3 Maps, a Chronology, Notes, Bibliography, and an Index
$16.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
April 2010
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429934015
ISBN10: 1429934018
512 pages, Includes 16 Pages of Black-and-White Illustrations, 3 Maps, a Chronology, Notes, Bibliography, and an Index
$9.99
Back