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A biography of the woman who, indirectly, was the catalyst for many of the troubles in the Middle East, including the Gulf War. In 1918, Gertrude Bell drew the region's proposed boundaries on a piece of tracing paper. Her qualifications for doing so were her extensive travel, her fluency in both Persian and Arabic, and her relationships with sheiks and tribal and religious leaders. She also possessed an ability to understand the subtle and indirect politeness of the culture, something many of her colonialist comrades were oblivious to. As a self-made statesman her sex was an asset, enabling her to bypass the ladder of protocol and dive into the business of building an Empire. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
To Sir Mark Sykes, the pre-WWI British Foreign Office Arabist, "that damned fool," Miss Bell, created an "uproar" wherever she went in the Middle East and was "the terror of the desert." Three social seasons were all a young lady of good family was allotted to snare a husband. Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) had thrice failed and received the consolation prize, a trip to Teheran to visit her uncle, the British envoy there. After that, she could not be kept close to the dank family manse in Northumbria but was drawn to the sun-drenched Middle East. Dominated even there by her Victorian father, head of a family-owned ironworks, she was denied permission to marry a moneyless diplomat. She refused?to her later regret?a married lover in the military and assuaged her disappointment by pressing British interests in Arab lands east of Suez, becoming in effect the maker of postwar Iraq. The first woman to earn a first-class degree in modern history at Oxford, she wrote seven influential books on the Middle East and, following WWI, was named oriental secretary to the British High Commission in Iraq. Not just another book about an eccentric lady traveler, this colorful, romantic biography tells of a woman with an inexhaustible passion for place that did not always substitute successfully for continuing heartbreak. Despite some maudlin passages, Wallach, coauthor with her husband, John Wallach, of Arafat, vividly evokes a memorable personality.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I was totally enthralled. Very well written account of a most amazing woman living in the most amazing of times.Published 3 days ago by eliz
What a fascinating life! Great discussion for my book club meeting. Enjoyed reading it! even though it was so factual, it educated me on the Middle East. A must read.Published 5 days ago by Pamela Schrack
Story of a great woman. Good to know what happened. Funny that people continue to be threatened by women of strength and brilliance.Published 8 days ago by Terence
Fascinating book that reads almost like today's news...or at least helps you to better understand it. What a remarkable woman! Read morePublished 17 days ago by Boo Boo
A pioneer in the middle east - where few women have ventured at that time in history - and even since.Published 18 days ago by in2books
Wallach captured her personality and provided an excellent account of historical momentsPublished 27 days ago by Farida Toomey Sweezy
I was about half way through this book before I learned that Werner Herzog has made a film, QUEEN OF THE DESERT staring Nicole Kidman as Gertrude Bell. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bobby D.
An absolute “Must Read” for anyone interested in history, the evolution of the Middle East, World War I, or incredible strong and totally unique women. Read morePublished 1 month ago by MLLombard