Synopses & Reviews
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 l920s.
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.
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. 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.