Gertrude Bell

Gertrude Bell was an archaeologist, travel writer, explorer, and political administrator responsible for creating the borders of the countries of the Near East after World War I and for laying the foundation of the modern state of Iraq. Gertrude Bell made important contributions to archaeology and a greater understanding of the cultures of Mesopotamia and ancient Persia through her books, including what is still considered the best translation of the Persian poet Hafiz’s work.

Queen of the Desert is the compelling story of Gertrude Bell, archaeologist, linguist, and author whose passion for the Arab peoples turned her into an architect of the independent kingdom of Iraq, a role driven by an unyielding spirit. Drawing heavily on Gertrude's personal diaries and letters, journalist Georgina Howell paints an intimate portrait of a Victorian woman who gave up her world of privilege and plenty to navigate the complex geopolitics of the Middle East.

Letters from Baghdad tells the extraordinary and dramatic story of Gertrude Bell, the most powerful woman in the British Empire in her day. An explorer and political powerhouse, Bell shaped the destiny of Iraq after World War I in ways that still reverberate today. More influential than her friend and colleague T.E. Lawrence, Bell was an outspoken critic of the policies of the British colonial office. 

The Baghdad Archaeological Museum was established with the help of the British author Gertrude Bell in 1926. In the 1920s the Museum was under the Ministry of Public Works while under the Ministry of Education in the 1930s. The Iraqi National Museum is now the only institution dedicated to protecting the comprehensive and collective archaeological heritage of Iraq from loss or destruction, in order that it may be enjoyed and studied by the present and future generations.

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