Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia #2020

Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia Janet Wallach 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 explored mapped and excavated the world of the Arabs Recruited by British intelligence during World War I s

  • Title: Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia
  • Author: Janet Wallach
  • ISBN: 9781400096190
  • Page: 345
  • Format: Paperback
  • Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia Janet Wallach 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,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.
    Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia Janet Wallach

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    One thought on “Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia”

    1. 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 of the Middle East served the British Empire well for intelligence and liaison work during World War 1, and she had a major impact in setting the path toward Arab self rule, most notably in the establishment of Iraq and Jordan under monarchies of the Hussein family Bell is best known for her work with [...]

    2. 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 nation of Iraq I learned about the transformation of the Middle East as a result of the First World War I learned about Gertrude Bell I needed the depth of this book to really understand I am glad I read this book rather than what I originally sought Hero The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia, but wh [...]

    3. 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 independent Arabia, and of the forty delegates pictured, there is one woman Gertrude Bell She was a colleague of Winston Churchill and TE Lawrence, and a close personal adviser to King Faisel better known as Alec Guiness in Lawrence of Arabia, a four hour yawnfest of a movie that features Gertrude Bell exactl [...]

    4. 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 wealthy industrialist, and granddaughter of the man who brought modern iron smelting to Newcastle She was deprived of her mother early in life, but not deprived of much else, unless you feel that her lack of a husband was a major catastrophe She was not, at her core, rebellious, but she was adventuro [...]

    5. 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 She fought hard for Arabs of the Iraq region to govern themselves rather than become servants of the British Empire the British wanted that oil too This book is very detailed a fascinating overview of the Middle East after the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

    6. 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 biased I enjoy a challenging read, but it wasn t always challenging for the right reasons.2 I was really looking forward to reading about this fiercely independent, intelligent, and visionary woman who made her own place in the world While all of this is true and I respect it, I deeply question her Brita [...]

    7. 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 for me, which she did Honestly, even amazing than this book is the program the author started in Maine, called, Seeds of Peace a summer camp for Israeli and Palestinian high school students to have fun and get to know each other Ms Wallach is currently president of Seeds of Peace, a conflict resolution p [...]

    8. Overall, Desert Queen was a good detailing of a life that has often been overlooked I think the earlier portion would have benefited from hearing of Gertrude s own voice via her letters I quickly grew bored of hearing her meetings with sheikhs and other prominent figures consisting of a hot cup of Turkish coffee and some meat with rice The constant reminders of who Fattuh was also made me a little irritated got it, he s her loyal Armenian servant this in conjunction with the lack of explaining [...]

    9. 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 very clearly.There are a lot of confusing things about Gertrude While she rejected the common ideal of what the Victorian woman was supposed to be, at the same time she embraced her femininity and used it to her advantage throughout her political career She also rallied against the suffrage movement, al [...]

    10. I had greatly anticipated reading this book however, the author s writing style is tedious at best and turned a book that should have been fascinating into drudgery The first half was especially mind numbing along the lines of, she went here, then she went there The last third of the book improved dramatically, but by that time, I was just eager to finish it off I was terribly disappointed.

    11. Today s news, the utter destruction of the ancient city of Aleppo and much of the chaos in the Middle East might be credited to the handy work of Gertrude Bell, the Desert Queen of the title, who drew the untenable boundaries that form modern Iraq The story of this unlikely wielder of power in the Middle East is both fascinating and commonplace A woman bereaved at the death of her suitor, whom she d rejected, goes traveling to relieve her spirits Gertrude Bell was not the only early 20th century [...]

    12. An interesting but not compelling read about a fascinating woman Though i was enthralled with the story of Victorian Gertrude Bell s life and how she gained acceptance and reverence from Middle Eastern patriarchs Bedouin, Persian and Arab , I couldn t help but think the author slid over important things, hinted at key moments e.g the anecdote that Gertrude had seen hundreds of wounded soldiers during WWI but the author had never mentioned an incident before, when, where, under what circumstances [...]

    13. My mother gratiously purchased this fine tome for me a few years back and it proceeded to sit on the aforementioned mother s shelf in her room for those intervening few years The inevitable boredom of July prompted me to go about the house browsing for things to read and this immediately presented itself I flipped it open and lethargically started reading the first page Before I knew it, it was hours later and I was completely enveloped in the story and stunning life of Miss Gertrude Bell I am s [...]

    14. Ik houd wel van biografien van periodes gebieden waar ik niet veel van afweet Ik had tot voor kort nog nooit van Gertrude Bell gehoord, en wist ook niet veel over het ontstaan van Irak Ook hier geldt dat de geschiedenis kennen de huidige tijd beter doet begrijpen.Naast boeiend en leerzaam is het verhaal ook schrijnend Het boek heeft een triestig einde.

    15. I got about two thirds of the way through this book and stopped reading it She traveled through Persia and Arabia in comparative style with a string of servants, on Daddy s dime I know that s the way it had to happen back then, but I felt that she was just a dabbler, looking for ways to pass the time.

    16. The day I found out that Robert Pattinson is going to portray T.E Lawrence in the Herzog movie Queen of the Desert that will be filmed in the spring of 2012, I decided to order this book and read it as background information As a good fan you have to be prepared, right I was a kind of pleasantly surprised, because I didn t know anything about Gertrude Bell and she turned out to be a very interesting, daring, adventurous and amazingly strong woman She grew up in Victorian England in a time that w [...]

    17. Ms Bell went to Arabia initially as part of an archaeology expedition, but soon became interested in the land itself and the many tribes that lived there Learning Arabic, she determinedly traveled into territories of which even men in the service of the British crown never ventured Being such an anomaly in the land both a foreigner to the local inhabitants and an woman she was met with derision on the part of most of her fellow Englishmen and with curiosity by the leaders of the desert peoples H [...]

    18. I like this book even as I recognize its weaknesses, namely 1 It is too often a mere retelling of Bell s own writings.2 It is completely biased to Bell s point of view If she says something happened a certain way, then that s the way it happened We are almost never provided with an alternate opinion Sometimes, of course, there is literally no other record to go to for another point of view like when she is kidnapped by Bedouin in the Empty Quarter , but still.3 It neither digs deep nor asks hard [...]

    19. What a fascinating woman How little she is known Read it just for that, but also for the beauty of the excerpts from her own book, The Desert and the Sown I ve been looking for it for years, finally found a copy but haven t read it yet.

    20. Desert Queen is the story of Gertrude Bell who is seen by many as the Mother of Iraq Born in Victorian England when a female s purpose in life was to find a husband and raise a family, Bell broke all stereotypes Bell was well educated, multi lingual, an archaeologist, a mountain climber, a noted writer, spy, diplomat, creator of the Baghdad Museum, and regal adviser As one of the first females to enter Oxford, Bell s intellect, interests, and standards thwarted most courting efforts The few time [...]

    21. An extraordinary woman with a very unusual life for her day, indeed for any era What she achieved would paradoxically be even harder for a woman in the middle East during current political and religious constraints.I found the style a little irritating, swinging from a melodramatic, almost Mills Boon style romantic novel one disastrous love affair after another to a astute commentary on Gertrude s life and contribution to world history The vocabulary was a little jaded and repetitive as she scr [...]

    22. Like its subject, this book is both fascinating and exasperating The author is of a chronicler than a storyteller, and at times the larger narrative of Gertrude Bell s life gets lost in the exhausting cascade of details that Wallach provides about Bell s adventures Bell s transformation into a supporter of Arab self rule is treated too subtly, and Wallach often frustratingly presents details of Bell s experiences before she sketches the context But this is still an enlightening read I found mys [...]

    23. There have surely been few women who could be claimed to have had such an impact on history and yet be so comparatively little known We arguably live in a world shaped by Gertrude Bell s actions, and yet how many people even know of her existence And yet Gertrude Bell indeed led an extraordinary life, venturing alone across Arabian deserts, exploring ruins and abandoned cities, conversing with peasants and sheikhs, and that was all before her most influential years in the Middle East during WW1. [...]

    24. History is full of women who, stifled by the restriction of society in Victorian England, set out for liberating parts unknown Such a woman was Gertrud Bell, the daughter of a wealthy industrialist in Yorkshire and one of the first women to graduate with a First in Modern History from Oxford Finding herself unfitted for English society and mourning a failed romance, she took a trip to Palestine and thus, began a lifelong romance with the Mid East.Not one to do anything by halves, Bell learned A [...]

    25. A Victorian woman, Gertrude Bell, traveled the deserts of the Middle East before they were even known as the Middle East In addition to her five or six fluently spoken languages, she set her sights on learning Arabic which she did She spent so much time traveling over in Persia, that when WWII broke out, not only did no one know how to speak Arabic in the British government, no one knew the deserts, language and people like she did As the British government set up their foreign middle east offic [...]

    26. I was very curious about Gertrude Bell before I read this book You should read this book as about one woman s life and experiences I listened to it on audio and it was brutal The way it is worded is melodramatic as is the narrator s voice and it is a long book It is also hard to keep track of all the Arabic names when you can t see them in print I would recommend reading about Iraq history at this time first to have a better context with which to understand Gertrude You have to take Gertrude as [...]

    27. I first heard about Gertrude Bell as the former occupant of Red Barns, a building in Redcar on the north east coast of England , which is where most of my family live When I was in the area last summer, I visited a local museum which had an exhibition on Gertrude Bell, and it was here that I bought this book.Desert Queen is the perfect book for readers with an interest in this fascinating woman, and with only limited knowledge if any of her equally fascinating life Wallach entwines her narration [...]

    28. This is an interesting way to get the background of the creation of Iraq in 1921 It is hard to believe, yet undeniably true, that Gertrude Bell was the single force in this event The book is extremely well researched and one does not question the facts The author takes some liberties in creating historic dialogue what she says to King Faisal well he wasn t king at the time and he wouldn t have been if it hadn t been for her and T.E Lawrence and her several diplomat lovers appear to be the author [...]

    29. I m not sure how Gertrude Bell managed to escape my radar for so long What a fascinating woman Bell fled to Mesopotamia and Persia to escape the confines of a conventional Victorian role back in England The Khatun left her mark on her claimed home with her role in mapping out the borders of what was to become modern Syria and modern Iraq and founding an antiquities museum in Baghdad to chronicle the rich history of the region A devotee to the Empire no doubt, but Bell clearly was enad with the c [...]

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