Gertrude Bell: The Arabian Diaries, 1913-1914

Overview

Gertrude Bell's Arabian Diaries, published here for the first time, rank as one of the great travel narratives, carrying readers along on a desperate and heroic journey that foreshadows the emergence of the future imperial servant in Baghdad in the 1920s.

The Englishwoman Gertrude Bell lived an extraordinary life. Her adventures are the stuff of novels: she rode with bandits; braved desert shamals; was captured by Bedouins; and sojourned in a harem. Called the most powerful ...

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Overview

Gertrude Bell's Arabian Diaries, published here for the first time, rank as one of the great travel narratives, carrying readers along on a desperate and heroic journey that foreshadows the emergence of the future imperial servant in Baghdad in the 1920s.

The Englishwoman Gertrude Bell lived an extraordinary life. Her adventures are the stuff of novels: she rode with bandits; braved desert shamals; was captured by Bedouins; and sojourned in a harem. Called the most powerful woman in the British Empire, she counseled kings and prime ministers. Bell's colleagues included Lloyd George and Winston Churchill, who in 1921 invited Bell -- the only woman whose advice was sought -- to the Cairo Conference to "determine the future of Mesopotamia." Bell numbered among her closest friends T. E. Lawrence, St. John Philby, and Arabian sheiks.

In this volume of three of her notebooks, Rosemary O'Brien preserves Bell's elegant, vibrant prose and presents Bell as a brilliant tactician fearlessly confronting her own vulnerability. The fundamental themes of her life -- reckless behavior, a divided self which combined brilliance of intellect with a passionate nature, a sense of history, and the fatal gift of falling in love with a married man -- are all here in remarkable detail. Her journey to northern Arabia in 1914 earned Bell professional recognition from the Royal Geographical Society and solidified her reputation as a canny political analyst of Middle Eastern affairs.

In addition to Bell's own photographs, O'Brien has provided us an unprecedented first access to excerpts of the Bell/Charles H. M. Doughty-Wylie love letters, the married British army officer with whom she was in love and for whom her diaries were written.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Three notebooks, first published here, record the British adventuress' journey to northern Arabia and foreshadow her service to the Empire in Baghdad during the 1920s. Editor Rosemary O'Brien has included Bell's photographs and excerpts of lover letters between her and her married lover, for whom she wrote her diaries. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From The Critics
Gertrude Bell was an English woman who lived an extraordinary life of adventure. She rode with bandits, braved desert shamals, was captured by Bedouins, and sojourned in a harem. The counselor to kings and prime ministers, her illustrious colleagues included Lloyd George and Winston Churchill. Very highly recommended reading for women's studies, and 20th century studies reading lists and library collections, Gertrude Bell: The Arabian Diaries, 1913-1914 is wonderfully illustrated with her photography and exemplifies her elegant, vibrant prose, as well as documenting her on of the 20th Century's most daring, resourceful, independent, and larger-than-life characters.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815606727
  • Publisher: Syracuse University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2000
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,460,590
  • Product dimensions: 7.26 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations ix
Preface xi
Acknowledgments xv
Gertrude Bell en Route 3
Gertrude Bell's Itinerary, 1913-1914 38
Doughty-Wylie Diaries 43
Appendixes
A. Diaries 1913-1914 137
B. Ibrahim's Daftar 245
Glossary 249
Works Cited 253
Index 257
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