The intrepid Gertrude Bell: Victorian lady, explorer of the Middle Eastern deserts, and key adviser to the new Iraqi nation, 1868-1926
Drees, Ann Lawson
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This biographical study of Gertrude Lowthian Bell, the noted British explorer and political officer, portrays a woman who achieved fame in several fields, an archaeologist, travel writer, wartime intelligence officer, and powerful British official in the new Iraqi nation. This study examines Bell's personal life and her career in the Middle East, using her letters and the memoirs of her contemporaries to gain a clearer picture of Gertrude Bell beyond the public image her family protected. The thesis also covers more recent writings which revealed information Bell's family had kept secret for forty years. The conclusion is that Bell exercised tremendous power in British and Iraqi politics but had very little control over events in her private life.