Preface An Eastern City The Tower of Silence In Praise of Gardens The King of Merchants The Imam Hussein The Shadow of Death Dwellers in Tents Three Noble Ladies The Treasure of the King Sheikh Hassan A Persian Host A Stage and a Half A Bridle- Path Two Palaces The Month of Fasting Requiescant in Pace The City of King Prusias Shops and Shopkeepers A Murray of the First Century Travelling Companions
When Gertrude Bell's uncle was appointed Minister in Tehran in 1891, she declared that the great ambition of her life was to visit Persia. Several months later, she did. And so began a lifetime of travel and a lifelong enchantment with what she saw as the romance of the East.
Gertrude Bell, CBE (1868 - 1926) was a writer, traveller, political officer, archaeologist and spy who travelled extensively throughout Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor and Arabia. Along with T. E. Lawrence, Bell helped establish the Hashemite dynasties in what is today Jordan and Iraq. She played a major role in the birth of the modern state of Iraq, using the perspective gained from her travels and relations with tribal leaders in the Middle East. "In British diplomatic group photographs of the early 20th-century Middle East, amid the plumes and uniforms and the calm paraphernalia of an empire going to hell in a bucket, there is often a solitary female. The woman is slim, with a head of luxuriant hair, and neatly dressed in billowing muslins or in the pencil silhouette and cloche hats of jazz-age Baghdad. The woman is Gertrude Bell." James Buchan, Guardian.