Customer Reviews for

Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 7 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2007

    In Search of a New Gertrude Bell for Fixing Iraq

    Georgina Howell brings to life Gertrude Bell, a woman whose accomplishments deserve to be better known than they have been. Born into the sixth-richest family in Britain in 1868, Bell got an education equal to that of a man. Young Bell was a ¿social hand grenade¿ due to her extraordinary self-confidence and intellectual brilliance. Bell did not get along well with the less developed personalities and intellects around her. Despite her efforts to get married and have a family of her own, Bell never managed to find true happiness. As Howell clearly demonstrates through her book, Bell never fully recovered from the premature death of Henry Cadogan, with whom she fell in love in 1892. Bell fluctuated all her life between looking for personal fulfillment and devoting herself to the well-being of the community for no reward. Despite these repeated setbacks in her private life, Bell would emerge as one of the most important architects of the modern Middle East. Bell first discovered the region when she traveled to Persia (modern Iran) in 1892. Bell¿s obsession with archeology became the driver behind her desert expeditions before WWI. Bell published different books about her archeological findings and learned to speak Arabic on top of five other languages during that period. The knowledge that Bell got about the Middle East and its people proved invaluable when Britain fought the Turks in the region during the Great War. The same knowledge played a decisive roll in leading the Arabs to nationhood in the aftermath of WWI. Unsurprisingly, Bell has been compared to T.E. Lawrence, also known as Lawrence of Arabia, who launched the Arab Revolt. Unlike Lawrence, Bell remained dedicated to the cause of Arabs until they played a leading role in countries such as Transjordan (modern Jordan) and Iraq. Thanks to Bell¿s managerial skills, Iraq emerged as a working Sunni-dominated polity under the leadership of King Faisal by the time of her suicide in Baghdad in 1926. Most importantly, Howell gives contemporary readers some valuable insights into modern Iraq that I had the privilege to discover long before the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The chapter ¿Government through Gertrude¿ is probably the most fascinating and also the most relevant of all in fixing a broken Iraq. Bell was someone that every prominent man in Iraq, regardless of races, creeds, and allegiances, could trust. Bell kept her word and was fearless in trusting her life to these prominent men when traveling alone in their lands. Bell not only won trust for the British administration, but also worked on improving relationships between the different races, creeds, and allegiances. Unsurprisingly, Bell was greeted as ¿Khatun,¿ i.e., desert queen, or ¿Umm al Muminin,¿ i.e., Mother of the Faithful, after Ayishah, the wife of Prophet Muhammad.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    Gertrude Bell is an extremely fascinating and impressive woman w

    Gertrude Bell is an extremely fascinating and impressive woman who, unfortunately, is basically unknown to the public.  Accordingly, the author in this well researched and extremely informative book does an outstanding job of bring her subject to life.  However! I found the book in places overly detailed without adding to the reader's understanding.  

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1