Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian

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Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian

(lō`thēən), 1868–1926, British traveler, author, and government official, one of the builders of the modern state of IraqIraq
or Irak
, officially Republic of Iraq, republic (2005 est. pop. 26,075,000), 167,924 sq mi (434,924 sq km), SW Asia. Iraq is bordered on the south by Kuwait, the Persian Gulf, and Saudi Arabia; on the west by Jordan and Syria; on the north by Turkey; and on the
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, grad. Oxford, 1887. From 1899 on she journeyed extensively in Persia, Anatolia, and Syria and early in 1914 reached Haïl in the Arabian Desert. In World War I she placed her unmatched knowledge of Middle Eastern conditions and her fluent Arabic and Persian at the disposal of the British government and in 1915 was appointed to the intelligence service—the first woman to hold such a post. As liaison officer of the Arab Bureau in Iraq and assistant political officer, her aid was invaluable. She knew and worked with T. E. LawrenceLawrence, T. E.
(Thomas Edward Lawrence), 1888–1935, British adventurer, soldier, and scholar, known as Lawrence of Arabia. While a student at Oxford he went on a walking tour of Syria and in 1911 joined a British Museum archaeological expedition in Mesopotamia.
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 and was largely responsible for delineating Iraq's borders and for the selection of Faisal IFaisal I
or Faysal I
, 1885–1933, king of Iraq (1921–33). The third son of Husayn ibn Ali, sherif of Mecca, he is also called Faisal ibn Husayn. Faisal was educated in Constantinople and later sat in the Ottoman parliament as deputy for Jidda.
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 as the country's king. She also founded and directed the National Museum in Baghdad. Her writings include Poems from the Divan of Hafiz (1897), The Desert and the Sown (1907), Amurath to Amurath (1911), Palace and Mosque at Ukhaidar (1914), The Arab of Mesopotamia (1917), and Persian Pictures (1928; pub. anonymously as Safar Nameh, 1894).

Bibliography

See her Earlier Letters (ed. by E. Richmond, 1937) and Letters (new ed. 1947); biographies by J. Kamm (1956), A. Northgrave (1958), J. Wallach (1995), and G. Howell (2007).

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In this latest biography of desert explorer/archaeologist and mentor of Iraq's King Faisal, the author Janet Wallach credits Gertrude Bell for demarcating the modern borders of Iraq and for overruling the then British prime minister, Winston Churchill, who was in favour of carving out a homeland for the Kurds in the Mosul region.
However Lawrence had a facility which Gertrude Bell did not: a highly-skilled, American, publicity man who followed him all over the Arabian Peninsula, sending accounts worldwide to newspapers, taking still pictures and shooting film.
At the bottom left is an picture showing the unveiling of a plaque dedicated to the memory of Gertrude Bell.
Vita Nova has been a warm order in the betting all week and is looking to get back to winning ways having suffered the first defeat in her four-race career when finishing second in a Listed race here last time Her biggest danger looks like coming in the shape of Gertrude Bell.
I TRUST you will allow me to respond to Ray Kenyon of Stocksfield (Voice of the North, February 1), who is concerned with Gertrude Bell, our Arabian heroine from Washington not being well known, apart from the many letters she wrote, which are in Newcastle University Library archives.
Speakers will include local historians Cath and Tony Lynn, Gordon Hetherington on Gertrude Bell, MP Tom Blenkinsop, pictured, on his first year in Parliament and the Bishop of Whitby''s month in Africa earlier this year.
50 Haydock Sporting (50:25:10) 25-28 Vita Nova, 17-20 Gertrude Bell, 12-15 Eleanora Duse, Polly's Mark, 9-12 Dorcas Lane, 2-4 Fork Handles, 1-3 Bilidin.
BEFORE setting Gertrude Bell on a pedestal as your correspondent Ray Kenyon (Voice of the North, February 1) seems to wish, let's recall.
But as to who influenced the most in Arabia, Gertrude Bell far outmatched him.
Gertrude Bell John Gosden Four-year-old who notched a second success at Listed level on her reappearance at Goodwood in April.
The Clive Cox-trained Polly's Mark, also a Listed winner, was a head second to Gertrude Bell on her reappearance a fortnight ago at Goodwood.
CHANGING THE WORLD: Gertrude Bell, inset, and on a camel under the Sphinx with Lawrence of Arabia to the immediate right.