Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia

Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia

Turning away from the privileged world of the "eminent Victorians," Gertrude Bell (1868—1926) explored, mapped, and excavated the world of the Arabs. 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 wit 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.

Title:Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781400096190
Format Type:

    Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia Reviews

  • Michael

    An excellent account of a fascinating woman who was both a product of her times and one who broke new ground for accomplishments in a male dominated world. Bell’s passion for the culture and peoples...

  • Chrissie

    I really enjoyed this book, even if it was a challenging read. Challenging because there was so much information which was new to me. I learned about the transformation of Mesopotamia into the new nat...

  • Diane

    I loved this biography of Gertrude Bell! A friend had recommended it knowing how much I like travelogues, history and stories of amazing women, and this book ticks all of those boxes.I listened to thi...

  • Madeline

    "Great persons, like great empires, leave their mark on history."There's a photo in this book of the 1921 Cairo Conference, called by Winston Churchill to figure out what to do with the newly-independ...

  • Jill Hutchinson

    This is a hard book to review because there are so many conflicting issues that the reader has to pick out the positives from the negatives to arrive at a rating.The positives: Gertrude Bell was an am...

  • HBalikov

    I am sure that there are other biographies of Bell that skip right to her involvement in Mesopotamia, but I appreciated the time Wallach gives to the younger Gertrude Bell. Bell was the daughter of a ...

  • Kate

    My feelings about this book are a bit muddled for several reasons:1. I eat up memoirs and historical accounts, but the writing here is a bit contrived at times, thick (i.e. dull), and perhaps a bit bi...

  • Barbara

    It's popular these days to blame Gertrude Bell for arbitrarily carving up the tribal Middle East into countries. Read this book. She'd be spinning in her grave if she could see what Iraq has come to. ...

  • Sarah

    i read this book in high school and really enjoyed it. About 2 years later, I met the author at a graduation ceremony and got to talk to her/'dorkily' (not a word, i know) asked her to sign the book f...

  • Anna

    A random find at the local Goodwill, I had been meaning to read a biography when I saw this book. I wasn't quite sure how interested I would be in Gertrude Bell, but she ended up speaking me to me ver...