Sunday, April 29, 2007

Gertrude Bell

Gertrude Bell was a daring British traveler whose pre-World War One experience in the Middle East made her a key advisor on colonial policy in that area after the war -- more influential than Lawrence of Arabia. Some credit her with drawing the borders of modern Iraq and making possible the Hashemite monarchy that ruled there until 1958.

After reading a New York Times review of a recent book about her I went looking for pictures on the Web. (I showed at least one in Islamic Civilization but it was pretty fuzzy.) I stumbled across some pictures of "the Bell family" and this excellent page called (oddly) Gertrude in Persia. Give it a look.

The top picture shows her in Baghdad in 1917. The one below is a cartoon showing her in action.

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Blogger Ancarett said...

I recently read a popular biography of her: Desert Queen. Quite a good read! She was an amazing individual and I'd love to go to half the places she visited during her travels.

1:09 PM  

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