The life of Gertrude Bell is now the subject of the major motion picture Queen of the Desert, starring Nicole Kidman, James Franco and Damian Lewis
Turning away from privileged Victorian Britain, Gertrude Bell explored, mapped and excavated the world of the Arabs, winning the trust of Arab sheiks and chieftains along the way. When the First World War erupted and the British needed the loyalty of Arab leaders, Gertrude Bell provided the intelligence for T.E. Lawrence’s military activities. After the war, she played a major role in creating the modern Middle East, and was generally considered the most powerful woman in the British Empire.
In this major reassessment of Bell’s life, Janet Wallach reveals a woman whose achievements and independent spirit were especially remarkable for her times, and who brought the same passion and intensity to her explorations as she did to her rich and romantic life.