Extracts from two of Bell’s most compelling works of travel writing, Persian Pictures and Syria: The Desert and the Sown, as well as some of her most fascinating letters
A woman far ahead of her time, Gertrude gained a first from Oxford at a time when very few subjects were even open to women. She went on to take an active interest in politics before embarking on her one-woman travels across the Middle East. She chronicled her journeys through Iraq, Persia, Syria, and beyond and her important diplomatic work, with characteristic wit and incisiveness. Despite the many achievements of her working life, sadly her personal life was marred by losing the great love of her life, Major Charles Doughty-Wylie, from which she never recovered. She died in 1926 of an apparent overdose of sleeping pills. This is a unique collection of her work.