Sunday, 8 July 2018

338) Gertrude Bell

Gertrude Bell (1868 - 1926). English writer, traveller, political officer, administrator, and archaeologist, who explored, mapped, and became highly influential to British imperial policy-making due to her knowledge and contacts, built up through extensive travels in Greater Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and Arabia. Along with T. E. Lawrence, Bell helped support the Hashemite dynasties in what is today Jordan as well as in Iraq.
She played a major role in establishing and helping administer the modern state of Iraq, utilising her unique perspective from her travels and relations with tribal leaders throughout the Middle East. During her lifetime she was highly esteemed and trusted by British officials and exerted an immense amount of power. She has been described as "one of the few representatives of His Majesty's Government remembered by the Arabs with anything resembling affection"
 In 1918 she received the Royal Geographical Society's Gold Medal “for her important explorations and travels in Asia Minor, Syria, Arabia and on the Euphrates.”
"Bell had red hair, green eyes and a thoughtful, fine-boned face. Small in stature, she was nonetheless forceful in nature: intelligent, energetic and sometimes brusque to the point of rudeness."
"Gertrude Bell was of middle height, slender, and erect, with auburn hair and piercing greenish-brown eyes set in finely cut features."
"The little girl, whose red hair and blue-green eyes resembled those of her adoring father..."

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