Alan Gold

Bell of the Desert

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She was the most celebrated adventurer of her day.

The brains behind Lawrence of Arabia, an adviser to kings and desert sheikhs, and the British government’s secret weapon in the First World War in its campaign against the Turks. A brilliant academic, mountaineer, explorer, linguist, politician, and towering literary figure, Gertrude Bell is the most significant unsung heroine of the 20th Century.

This meticulously researched novel accurately opens history’s pages on a peerless woman who broke all molds on how Victorian women were supposed to behave—socially, intellectually, and physically. Guiding the events of the day in open, sanctioned diplomacy and adventure all across the Middle East, her influence on the men at the vanguard of history, and her unparalleled skill in sculpting the pathways and influences of the English, French, and Arab allies on the region, all lead to perhaps her greatest achievement: single-handedly creating today’s Iraq. Told as a biographical narrative of history, Bell of the Desert reveals that, more than any other single figure, it was this extraordinary woman who most determinedly fashioned the Arab world as we know it today.


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