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Tales from the Queen of the Desert by Gertrude Bell

Tales from the Queen of the Desert

Biography / Autobiography   Books Behind TV & Film   Travel   eBook Favourites   
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Take a gentle yet fascinating stroll back into another era, into the memories of Gertrude Bell, a woman so far ahead of her time she would still be considered remarkable today. This is a blend of two of Bell’s books, excerpts of her travel writing in the Middle East from the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th. This is a book you can dip in and out of, however every word should be savoured as it is with a feeling of wonderment that you read and understand, that these are the thoughts of an Englishwoman, as she traversed lands as different as possible from those she grew up in. You can feel the fear of a cholera outbreak, breathe in the scents of the gardens in the desert and take a peek at the diverse people she meets. These aren't the innermost secrets of an intriguing mind, but a captivating tale of lands wandered through and cultures explored, it will definitely leave you wanting to know more about Gertrude Bell. ~ Liz Robinson

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Gertrude Bell was a remarkable woman. Born in 1868, she was the first woman to gain a first-class degree from Oxford. When, aged 20, she set off to visit her uncle Sir Frank Lascelles, a British minister in Tehran, it was the start of a long love-affair with the Middle East, where she was a diplomat, archaeologist and explorer. Her travel writing is legendary and this contains both Persian Pictures (1894) and Syria: The Desert and the Sown (1907). Now her life is the subject of a forthcoming biopic directed by Werner Herzog and starring Nicole Kidman as Bell.
~ Fiona Lafferty


Tales from the Queen of the Desert by Gertrude Bell

Gertrude Bell CBE is rightly known as 'The Queen of the Desert' and a new Hollywood film based on her life, featuring Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Damian Lewis and Robert Pattinson is due for release in 2015.A woman far ahead of her time, Gertrude gained a first from Oxford at a time when very few subjects were even open to women. She went on to take an active interest in politics before embarking on her one-woman travels across the Middle East. She chronicled her journeys through Iraq, Persia, Syria and beyond and her important diplomatic work, with characteristic wit and incisiveness. Despite the many achievements of her working life, sadly her personal life was marred by losing the great love of her life, Major Charles Doughty-Wylie, from which she never recovered. She died in 1926 of an apparent overdose of sleeping pills. With extracts from two of Bell's most compelling works of travel writing, Persian Pictures and Syria: The Desert and the Sown, this Hesperus edition is truly a unique collection of work.


'I'm completely enraptured with her. She basically defined the borders between Iraq and Jordan that exist today'
Nicole Kidman

'Bell's achievement as a nation builder was extraordinary'
The New York Times

'A gap-year adventurer ahead of her time, who preferred wandering the Arabian Desert to life as a debutante in Victorian London'

About the Author

Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell, CBE (1868-1926) was an English writer, traveller, political officer, administrator, archaeologist and spy who explored and mapped Greater Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and Arabia. Along with T. E. Lawrence, Bell helped establish the Hashemite dynasties in what is today Jordan as well as in Iraq.

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Book Info

Publication date

13th February 2015


Gertrude Bell

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Author 'Like for Like'


Hesperus Press Ltd


304 pages


Biography / Autobiography
Books Behind TV & Film
eBook Favourites

Travel writing
Diaries, letters & journals



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