She was conferred upon the title of ‘Oriental Secretary’. Later, she was asked by British Intelligence to get soldiers through the deserts, and from the World War I period until her death she was the only woman holding political power and influence in shaping British imperial policy in the Middle East. She left for Mesopotamia in January 1909. As the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire was finalised by the end of the war in late January 1919, Bell was assigned to conduct an analysis of the situation in Mesopotamia. Additionally, being a woman gave her exclusive access to the chambers of wives of tribe leaders, giving her access to other perspectives and functions. He helped her to found Baghdad's Iraqi Archaeological Museum from her own modest artefact collection and to establish The British School of Archaeology, Iraq, for the endowment of excavation projects from proceeds in her will. It may have been suicide. A campaign was launched in 2016 to turn Gertrude Bell’s family estate called ‘Red Barns’ into a museum and memorial to her. [15] She had a "brief but passionate affair" with Swettenham following his retirement to England in 1904. Shias would respect him because of his lineage from Muhammad. When Gertrude was 16, she met 21-year-old George Francis Temple; they married in 1910. When Gertrude died in 1946, it was revealed that she had bequeathed her portrait by Picasso to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, forever linking their legacies. She also played a key role in designing the Iraqi national flag as we know it today. I've made his acquaintance..."[25]. Faisal attempted to rid himself of the control of British advisors, including Bell, with only limited success. [19], She published her observations of the Middle East in the book Syria: The Desert and the Sown (1907, William Heinemann Ltd, London). Hamlet’s reference to Old Hamlet protecting Gertrude from the wind creates the impression that Gertrude is very delicate. Bell was buried in Baghdad’s Bad al Sharji district. Gertrude Bell along with her colleague Lawrence and Cox were part of a group of ‘Orientalists’ specially selected by Winston Churchill to represent British interests at the 1921 Conference in Cairo to determine the boundaries of the British Mandate. At the outbreak of World War I, Bell's request for a Middle East posting was initially denied. Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) English writer, traveller, political officer, archaeologist, spy – Gertrude Bell was born in County Durham (ceremonial county in North East England, United Kingdom) on July 14th, 1868 and died in Baghdad (capital city of Iraq) on July 12th, 1926 at the age of 57. This is where she met T. E. Lawrence for the second time. Bell never married or had children. [22], In 1913, she completed her last and most arduous Arabian journey, travelling about 1800 miles from Damascus to the politically volatile Ha'il, back up across the Arabian peninsula to Baghdad and from there back to Damascus. Bell, Lawrence, and Cox were said to have worked incessantly towards the establishment of the ‘Transjordan’ countries as well as Iraq in the conference which was presided by King Abdullah, King Faisal and their sons. Her grandfather was the ironmaster Sir Isaac Lowthian Bell, an industrialist and a Liberal Member of Parliament, in Benjamin Disraeli's second term. She also supervised the selection of appointees for cabinet and other leadership posts in the new government. Back in Carchemish, she consulted with the two archaeologists on site. [30] In her final years she became acquainted with Kinahan Cornwallis who later wrote an introduction to the posthumously published book The Arab War, Confidential Information for General Headquarters from Gertrude Bell, Being Despatches Reprinted from the Secret "Arab Bulletin". 38. Gertrude’s mother died while giving birth to her brother, Maurice when she was four. Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell CBE (14 July 1868 – 12 July 1926) was a British writer, traveller, political analyst, administrator in Arabia, and an archaeologist who mapped and identified Anatolian and Mesopotamian ruins. Archaeologist, linguist, and the greatest woman mountaineer of her age, in 1921 she drew the boundaries of the country that became Iraq. She has been described as "one of the few representatives of His Majesty's Government remembered by the Arabs with anything resembling affection". She traveled to the Ottoman Empire in March 1907, to work with the archaeologist Sir William M. Ramsay. She had a brief relationship with Sir Frank Swettenham, a British colonial administrator in Singapore. [20], In 1907, they discovered a field of ruins in northern Syria on the east bank of the upper course of the Euphrates, along a steep slope of the former river valley. Lawrence and the British used the information in forming alliances with the Arabs. Gertrude Bell was just three at the time, and the death led to a lifelong close relationship with her father, Sir Hugh Bell, 2nd Baronet, a progressive capitalist and mill owner who made sure his workers were well paid and cared for. Bell died alone a decade later in Baghdad at the age of 57, after an overdose of sleeping pills. Today Gertrude Bell would be 152 years old. One Alpine peak in the Bernese Oberland, the 2,632 m (8,635 ft) Gertrudspitze, was named after her after she and her guides Ulrich and Heinrich Fuhrer first traversed it in 1901. Gertrude Bell's Party at the Dead Sea 1900, A130, Gertrude Bell Archive Newcastle University. There she met a young diplomat and wrote to her parents asking for permission to marry him. Upon Faisal's arrival in 1921, Bell advised him on local questions, including matters involving tribal geography and local business. Gertrude Bell, CBE, was an English writer, archaeologist, traveler and diplomat, who was highly influential in helping the British Empire exert its dominance in the Transjordan, Ottoman and Mesopotamian regions of the Middle East. Through all her wanderings, whether far or near, she kept in the closest touch with her home, always … Gertrude Bell was invited to speak at a promotional event for the public library in Baghdad in November 1919. Gertrude Bell was born on July 14, 1868 in Washington New Hall, County Durham, England as Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell. In March 1907, Bell journeyed to the Ottoman Empire and began to work with Sir William M. Ramsay, an archaeologist and New Testament scholar. Their excavations in Binbirkilise were chronicled in A Thousand and One Churches. In November 1915, Bell was summoned to join the nascent Arab Bureau in Cairo. Their first child, John Stanley Temple (Jack), was born in 1915. 1920, Lifestory of Gertrude Bell, from "Lives of the First World War", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gertrude_Bell&oldid=1001358856, Commanders of the Order of the British Empire, People educated at Queen's College, London, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the ODNB, Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CINII identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with TDVİA identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Writer, traveller, political officer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer in, This page was last edited on 19 January 2021, at 09:58. Gertrude was only three when her mother died. Gertrude Bell. Gertrude Bell was awarded the Order of the British Empire and her works got a special mention in the British Parliament. Her father remarried and had two more daughters and a son with his second wife, Mary. Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell was born on July 14, 1868, in Durham, England. She was appointed as ‘Oriental Secretary’ because of her extensive knowledge of the Middle East, its cultures, differing religious sects, and languages. Bell was found dead of an apparent overdose of sleeping pills at the age of 58. On 11 October 1920, Percy Cox returned to Baghdad and asked her to continue as Oriental Secretary, acting as liaison with the forthcoming Arab government. She instilled concepts of duty and decorum in Gertrude and contributed to her intellectual development. She was born into a wealthy family and was an excellent student. And her father Hugh Bell continued the family business. [31], She did not find working with the new king to be easy: "You may rely upon one thing — I'll never engage in creating kings again; it's too great a strain." "[41] However, Stewart praises her 1920 White Paper, comparing it to General Petraeus's report to the US Congress.[41]. She played a major role in establishing the modern state of Iraq. She also again met T. E. Therefore, her family ensured her … She had become fluent in Arabic, Persian, French and German, and also spoke Italian and Ottoman languages.. The exhibition moved to the Kirkleatham Museum in Redcar after its run in Newcastle. Bell was portrayed by Janet McTeer in the 1995 Dora Carrington biopic Carrington, and by Miranda Richardson in the 2002 film The Hours. W. H. I. Shakespear's data about the location and disposition of Arab tribes. She also supervised excavations and examined finds and artifacts. [23], In 1927, a year after Bell's death, her stepmother Florence Bell published two volumes of Gertrude Bell's collected correspondence written during the 20 years preceding World War I.[1]. During her lifetime she was highly esteemed and trusted by British officials and exerted an immense amount of power. She was aged about twenty years, and was an excellent young lady. She died here, two days before her 58th birthday in 1926, in an apparent suicide from an overdose of sleeping pills, a manner of death that was kept silent at … Bell’s mother died in 1871 while giving birth to her brother Maurice Bell. 100% (1/1) Washington Usworth Washington, County Durham. She was a key member in British policy-making in the Middle East. On 3 March 1916, Gen. Clayton abruptly sent Bell to Basra, which British forces had captured in November 1914, to advise Chief Political Officer Percy Cox regarding an area she knew better than any other Westerner. The death of Gertrude Bell on the 12th July 1926, from an overdose of 'sleeping pills' in her bedroom in Baghdad, is now well documented in her biographies, and in more recent years it has certainly been fairly openly discussed in terms of suicide. Gertrude Bell was opposed to the Zionist movement because she felt it was unfair for Jewish rule to be imposed on the Arab inhabitants of Palestine. Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell was born in June 1868 in England, in county of Durham. She is said to have been the consummate diplomat as many of the people she negotiated with, became her admirers later on. It was not until 1920 that Oxford treated women equally with men in this respect.[13][14]. Through her travels, she became well versed in Arabic, Persian, German, French as well as a little bit of Turkish and Italian. [3] Along with T. E. Lawrence, Bell helped support the Hashemite dynasties in what is today Jordan as well as in Iraq. On 12 July 1926, Bell was discovered dead, of an apparent overdose of sleeping pills. She wrote a book about her experiences called Persian Pictures, A Book of Travelsthat was published in 1894. She returned to Baghdad and soon developed pleurisy. It was generally casual flattery, and yet the example of Bell and her colleagues was unsettling. The precocious daughter of a wealthy industrialist family from northern England, her life was a series of “firsts”: The first woman to receive highest honors in Modern History at Oxford; She befriended British colonial administrator Sir Frank Swettenham on a visit to Singapore with her brother Hugo in 1903 and maintained a correspondence with him until 1909. In 1888 Bell earned a degree from the University of Oxford. Gertrude Bell was discovered dead on 12 July 1926, after an overdose of sleeping pills. Turning the building into a memorial to Bell is partially the result of a 2015 exhibition about her at the Great North Museum in Newcastle. In a letter to her stepmother, she recounts how she had the research room to herself and spoke to some Syrians from Damascus who were part of the ethnographic section of the exhibition. Full Name: Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell Known For: Archaeologist and historian who gained significant knowledge of the Middle East and helped shape the region post-World War I.She was particularly influential in the creation of the state of Iraq. Bell's mother, Mary Shield Bell, died in 1871 while giving birth to a son, Maurice (later the 3rd Baronet). INTRODUCTION TO THE LETTERS OF GERTRUDE BELL. Her mother died in childbirth two year after Bell's birth, and a stepmother raised the young child. Contrasting them with previous massacres, she wrote that the massacres of preceding years "were not comparable to the massacres carried out in 1915 and the succeeding years. Gertrude Bell's first love had always been archaeology, thus she began forming what became the Baghdad Archaeological Museum, later renamed the Iraqi Museum. Florence Bell's activities with the wives of Bolckow Vaughan ironworkers in Eston, near Middlesbrough, may have helped influence her step-daughter's later stance promoting education of Iraqi women. Gertrude Bell never got married or had any children. After British troops took Baghdad on 10 March 1917, Bell was summoned by Cox to Baghdad[8]:274–276 and given the title of "Oriental Secretary." Gertrude Bell was an archaeologist, a linguist, traveller, and the greatest woman mountaineer of her age. [49][50], English writer, traveller, political officer and archaeologist, Gertrude Bell in 1909, visiting archaeological excavations in. Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell, CBE (14 July 1868 – 12 July 1926) was an English writer, traveller, political officer, administrator, and archaeologist[2] who explored, mapped, and became highly influential to British imperial policy-making due to her knowledge and contacts, built up through extensive travels in Syria-Palestine, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and Arabia. [8]:365–369 Significant input was given by Gertrude Bell in these discussions thus she was an essential part of its creation. Gertrude Bell, happily for her family and friends, was one of the people whose lives can be reconstructed from correspondence. Bell's uncle, Sir Frank Lascelles, was British minister (similar to ambassador) at Tehran, Persia. In 1961, this became the National Library of Iraq. [45] The inscription reads: This window is in remembrance of Gertrude Versed in the learning of the east and of the west Servant of the state Scholar Poet Historian Antiquary Gardener Mountaineer Explorer Lover of nature of flowers and of animals Incomparable friend sister daughter. Gertrude Bell essentially played the role of mediator between the Arab government and British officials. Gertrude Bell was born into a wealthy family in the English county of Durham on July 14, 1868. She died on July 12, 1926 in Baghdad, Mandatory Iraq. In May 1892, Gertrude Bell traveled to Tehran to visit her uncle Sir Frank Lascelles, the British ambassador to Persia. Regardless, there are some promising signs for Queen of the Desert , shot on location in Morocco over two-and-a-half months last year. Her mother died shortly after the birth of her younger brother in 1871, and her father remarried five years later. Hogarth honoured her by saying, No woman in recent time has combined her qualities – her taste for arduous and dangerous adventure with her scientific interest and knowledge, her competence in archaeology and art, her distinguished literary gift, her sympathy for all sorts and condition of men, her political insight and appreciation of human values, her masculine vigour, hard common sense and practical efficiency – all tempered by feminine charm and a most romantic spirit.[39]. Bell's mother, Mary Shield Bell, died in 1871 while giving birth to a son, Maurice (later the 3rd Baronet). Together with T. E. Lawrence better known to the world as ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, she helped establish the Hashemite Kingdoms in what is better known today as Jordan and Iraq. "[26] Bell also reported that in Damascus, "Ottomans sold Armenian women openly in the public market. Later, Bell’s father remarried after four years to Florence Olliffe. Bell felt it essential to customise it for Iraq by adding a gold star to the design. [9], Gertrude Bell received her early education from Queen's College in London and then later at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University,[10] at the age of 17. The Cambridge City (IN) Tribune, Thursday, November 5, 1891 Miss Gertrude Bell, daughter of Wm. Born: July 14, 1868 in Washington New Hall, County Durham, England; Died: July 12, 1926 in Baghdad, Iraq She died in 1993 at 100 years old. The "Mother of the Blues", she bridged earlier vaudeville and the authentic expression of southern blues, influencing a generation of blues singers. From the ruins, they created a plan and described the ramparts: "Munbayah, where my tents were pitched – the Arabic name means only a high-altitude course – was probably the Bersiba in Ptolemy's list of city names. Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) was part proper Victorian and part modern woman. The actions of Old Hamlet also show that Old Hamlet had a very close relationship with Gertrude and was very protective of her. Died: 21 February 1999, Chapel Hill, NC, USA Affiliation at the time of the award: Wellcome Research Laboratories, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA Prize motivation: "for their discoveries of important principles for drug treatment." During the spring of 1900 she went to visit t… She instead volunteered with the Red Cross in France. Iraq would be cheaper as a self-governing state. In 1899 Bell studied Arabic in Jerusalem. On 12 July 1926, Bell was discovered dead, of an apparent overdose of sleeping pills. Now 32 years old, she was starting to display some spirit and a genuine fascination for the ancient ruins. Also Known As: Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell, education: University of Oxford, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, Queen's College, London, See the events in life of Gertrude Bell in Chronological Order. If she were a mirror (or foil) of Ophelia, and was unaware of the poison, then Gertrude dies because the men surrounding her are too caught up in their own concerns to think on the consequences of their actions. "[27] In an intelligence report, Bell wrote: The battalion left Aleppo on 3 February and reached Ras al-Ain in twelve hours....some 12,000 Armenians were concentrated under the guardianship of some hundred Kurds...These Kurds were called gendarmes, but in reality mere butchers; bands of them were publicly ordered to take parties of Armenians, of both sexes, to various destinations, but had secret instructions to destroy the males, children and old women...One of these gendarmes confessed to killing 100 Armenian men himself...the empty desert cisterns and caves were also filled with corpses...No man can ever think of a woman's body except as a matter of horror, instead of attraction, after Ras al-Ain."[28]. Gertrude Bell died in 1926 from an overdose of sleeping pills. James Buchan on the extraordinary life of Gertrude Bell… Similarly, Gertrude Bell’s mother, Mary Shield Bell, died giving birth to a son, Maurice, when Bell was three years old. However, she failed in an attempt of the Finsteraarhorn in August 1902, when inclement weather including snow, hail and lightning forced her to spend "forty eight hours on the rope" with her guides, clinging to the rock face in terrifying conditions that nearly cost her her life. It was said King Faisal watched the procession from his private balcony as they carried her coffin to the cemetery.[17]:235. Helen Keller, 87, Dies Special to The New York Times. [8]:365–369 Until her death in Baghdad, she served in the Iraq British High Commission advisory group there. In November 1919, Bell was an invited speaker at a meeting for the promotion of a public library in Baghdad, and subsequently served on its Library Committee, as President from 1921 to 1924. She played a major role in establishing and helping administer the modern state of Iraq, using her unique perspective from her travels and relations with tribal leaders throughout the Middle East. The British diplomat, travel writer and Member of Parliament Rory Stewart wrote: When I served as a British official in southern Iraq in 2003, I often heard Iraqis compare my female colleagues to "Gertrude Bell." "Mesopotamia is not a civilised state," Bell wrote to her father on 18 December 1920. She was skilled with languages, learning many throughout her life. She was a woman ahead of her time and became known as ‘Queen of the Desert’. http://www.anothermag.com/design-living/9762/gertrude-bell-the-female-adventurer-that-time-forgot, https://www.jpost.com/Jerusalem-Report/The-Region/The-Lady-of-Iraq, http://wunc.org/post/who-was-gertrude-bell-letters-baghdad-highlights-explorer-s-unsung-legacy#stream/0, http://people-dont-have-to-be-anything-else.wikia.com/wiki/Gertrude_Bell, https://in.pinterest.com/pin/196891814934494381/?lp=true, https://gohighbrow.com/gertrude-bell-1868-1926/. Her grandfather, Sir Isaac Lowthian Bell, was a member of Parliament … The division of the Kurds between Iraq, Syria and Turkey led to their oppression in all three countries, and Bell endorsed the use of force against the Kurds. Their excavations were documented in the book ‘A Thousand and One Churches’. In 1903, her father, German-born Julius Otto Krieger, relocated the family to Los Angeles, California. She wrote that she regarded the Balfour Declaration with "the deepest mistrust" and that "It's like a nightmare in which you foresee all the horrible things which are going to happen and can`t stretch out your hand to prevent them". The remains were brought here Tuesday, and services were held at … She was born in England, in 1868, into a wealthy family. At the Cairo Conference Bell and Lawrence highly recommended Faisal bin Hussein, (the son of Hussein, Sherif of Mecca), former commander of the Arab forces that helped the British during the war and entered Damascus at the culmination of the Arab Revolt. Gertrude "Ma" Rainey (born Gertrude Pridgett, 1882 or 1886 – December 22, 1939) was one of the earliest African-American professional blues singers and one of the first generation of blues singers to record. Her father owned an iron works. She described this journey in her book, Persian Pictures, which was published in 1894. Prize share: 1/3 Life Gertrude Elion was born in New York. [8]:33–34 Throughout her life, Gertrude consulted on political matters with her father, who had also served for many years in various governmental positions. To honor her memory, a stained-glass window was erected in St Lawrence’s Church in East Rounton, North Yorkshire. [8]:365–369 Gertrude is supposed to have described Lawrence as being able "to ignite fires in cold rooms".[34]. When she recovered, she heard that her younger half brother Hugh had died of typhoid. Her funeral was attended by large numbers. At Oxford in 1888, she was the first woman to take a First in Modern History. But when Gertrude was seven years old, her father remarried, providing her a stepmother, Florence Bell (née Olliffe), and eventually, three half-siblings. She brought in extensive collections, such as from the Babylonian Empire. They ordered her home instead (the young man died nine months later). The new Hashemite monarchy used the Sharifian flag, which consisted of a black stripe representing the Abbasid caliphate, white stripe representing the Umayyad caliphate, and a green stripe for Fatimid Dynasty, and lastly a red triangle to set across the three bands symbolising Islam. Some biographies suggest the loss of her mother caused underlying childhood trauma, revealed through periods of depression and risky behaviour. The cause of death was an overdose of sleeping pills. She became the only female political officer in the British forces and received the title of "Liaison Officer, Correspondent to Cairo" (i.e. Sunnis, including Kurds, would follow him because he was Sunni from a respected family. [30] The museum was officially opened in June 1926, shortly before Bell's death. Bell is the subject of Susan Sellers' 2010 novel Vanessa and Virginia and of Priya Parmar's 2014 novel Vanessa and Her Sister. Bell's mother, Mary Shield Bell, died in 1871 while giving birth to a son, Maurice (later the 3rd Baronet). ... in in her old age, was to Afghanistan. Bell often had to mediate between the various groups of Iraq including a majority population of Shias in the southern region, Sunnis in central Iraq, and the Kurds, mostly in the northern region, who wished to be autonomous. On 10 March 1917, Bell was summoned to Baghdad by Chief Political Officer Percy Cox after the British forces had overtaken Baghdad. She was described as an 'outsider', the 'Queen of the Desert' and 'the most powerful woman in the British Empire in her day'. She became a witness to the Armenian Genocide while in the Middle East. "[21], In January 1909, Bell left for Mesopotamia. She was born July 4, 1895 in McCartney, Pa., the daughter of the late Frank and Harriett Cross Pusey. After her death, at the Emir's suggestion, the right wing of the Museum was named as a memorial to her. Gertrude aged 8 with her father. ... She's Old Ain't Dead! Bell's vivid descriptions revealed the Arabian deserts to the western world. His role in British policy-making exposed Ger… Bell's mother, Mary Shield Bell, died in 1871[7] while giving birth to a son, Maurice (later the 3rd Baronet). Daughter of John Shield of Newcastle-on-Tyne. She was 87 years old. She was only the second foreign woman after Lady Anne Blunt to visit Ha'il and, arriving during a period of particular instability, was held in the city for eleven days. [46], In 2019, entomologists studying wild bees in Saudi Arabia described a new genus which they named to honour Bell, as genus Belliturgula, known from the species Belliturgula najdica from central Saudi Arabia. Keeping all the groups under control in Iraq was essential to balance the political and economic interests of the British Empire. In July 1926, plagued by ill-health, Gertrude Bell died in an apparent suicide at her home in Baghdad. [18], Between 1899 and 1904, she conquered a number of mountains, including the La Meije and Mont Blanc, as she recorded 10 new paths or first ascents in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. A stained-glass window dedicated to her memory, made by Douglas Strachan, was erected in St Lawrence's Church, East Rounton, North Yorkshire. In 1915, both Bell and Lawrence were assigned to the Army Intelligence Headquarters in Cairo for war service, because of their extensive knowledge of the region and languages spoken therein. At age 15, she moved to London to prepare for higher education. "[40] He quotes Bell's colleague, T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia), as saying that she was "not a good judge of men or situations",[41] and observes that "If there was no ideal solution, however, there were still clear mistakes. Throughout her travels Bell established close relations with tribe members across the Middle East. As a result of her mother’s death, she became close to her father who was a progressive capitalist and mill owner. [47], In 2016, a campaign was launched to transform Bell's family estate, Red Barns, into a memorial and museum. Bell opposed the Zionist movement, on the grounds that it would be unfair to impose Jewish rule on Arab inhabitants of Palestine. An obituary written by her peer D. G. Hogarth expressed the respect British officials held for her. When Bell briefly returned to Britain in 1925, she faced family problems and ill health. https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/1988/elion/biographical Whilst she lost her mother at a very young age, her father, Sir Hugh Bell, 2nd Baronet became an important mentor throughout her life. She was St. John Philby's field controller, and taught him the finer arts of behind-the-scenes political manoeuvering. British officials quickly realised that their strategies in governing were adding to costs. She was buried at the British cemetery in Baghdad's Bab al-Sharji district. Gertrude Bell. Nine were recorded because they were men, and the other two were Bell and Alice Greenwood. Gertrude Bell Sir Hugh Bell, 2nd Baronet High Sheriff of Durham Eton College Dorman Long. Her grandfather Lowthian Bell owned steel mills and held the title of Baronet. Somewhat frail to start with, she became emaciated. This particular theme for my blog assignment came to me after reading some of my other classmate’s work regarding foils in Hamlet. However, there was little enthusiasm for Faisal when he landed at the Shia port of Basra. Whilst Gertrude Bell accepted her parents' word on the matter she was significantly affected by the experience, and from then on it seems she saw the Middle East as a backdrop to having (or being permitted to perform) heightened emotions and intensity of feeling - it's clear through her prose and poetic translations of this time and later. 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