Bell, Gertrude

born July 14, 1868, Washington Hall, Durham, Eng.
died July 12, 1926, Baghdad, Iraq

British traveler, writer, and colonial administrator.

After graduating from Oxford, she journeyed throughout the Middle East. After World War I she wrote a well-received report on the administration of Mesopotamia between the end of the war (1918) and the Iraqi rebellion of 1920 and later helped determine postwar boundaries. In 1921 she helped place a son of the sharif of Mecca, Faysal I, on the Iraqi throne. In helping create the National Museum of Iraq, she promoted the idea that excavated antiquities should stay in their country of origin.

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▪ English politician and writer
in full  Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell 
born July 14, 1868, Washington Hall, Durham, Eng.
died July 12, 1926, Baghdad, Iraq
 English traveler, administrator in Arabia, and writer who played a principal part in the establishment in Baghdad of the Hāshimite dynasty.

      Gertrude Bell's brilliant career at Oxford, where she took a first in history in 1887, was followed by some time spent in Tehrān, where her uncle Sir Frank Lascelles was British minister. Returning to the political and intellectual salons in England and Europe for a decade, she did not until 1899 embark on the career of Arabian activities that made her famous. She visited Palestine and Syria in that year and was often back in the Middle East during the next decade, extending her travels to Asia Minor. But her heart was set on an Arabian journey, which she began in 1913, being the second woman (after Lady Anne Blunt) to visit Haʾil, where she was not favourably received, although she ever afterward favoured the Ibn Rashīd dynasty in its struggle against the Ibn Saʿūd dynasty. She never wrote a full account of this journey, though her literary output during the 20 years preceding World War I had been considerable, including Safar Nameh (1894), Poems from the Divan of Hafiz (1897), The Desert and the Sown (1907), The Thousand and One Churches (1909), and Amurath to Amurath (1911). Her vast correspondence was published in an edited form in two volumes by her stepmother in 1927.

      Perhaps her greatest work was a masterly official report on the administration of Mesopotamia during the difficult period between the Armistice of 1918 and the Iraq rebellion of 1920. After a short period of war work in England and France, she plunged into the rough-and-tumble of Middle East politics, mainly in Mesopotamia, where she served in turn under Sir Percy Cox (Cox, Sir Percy) and Sir Arnold Wilson. She helped place the Hāshimite ruler Fayṣal I on the throne of Iraq in 1921. The last three years of her life were devoted to the creation of an archaeological museum in Baghdad. She insisted, for the first time, that antiquities excavated should stay in the country of their origin, thereby ensuring that the National Museum of Iraq, which is her monument in the land she loved, would possess a splendid collection of Iraq's own antiquities. Facing ill health and profound loneliness, Bell took a fatal dose of sleeping pills and died July 12, 1926, in Baghdad.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bell, Gertrude L. — (1868 1926)    A noted English diplomat and scholar whose championing of archaeologists and founding of a major museum in Iraq greatly advanced modern studies of ancient Mesopotamia. Bell early made a name for herself by becoming the first woman… …   Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary

  • BELL, Gertrude — (1886–1926)    British traveler, administrator, and archaeologist. Her linguistic abilities and independent means allowed her to travel widely in the Ottoman provinces of the Middle East, summarized in her book, The Desert and the Sown (1907). In …   Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia

  • Bell, Gertrude — (14 jul. 1868, Washington Hall, Durham, Inglaterra–12 jul. 1926, Bagdad, Irak). Viajera, escritora y funcionaria colonial británica. Después de graduarse en Oxford, viajó por todo el Medio Oriente. Tras la primera guerra mundial, escribió un… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Gertrude Bell — Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell CBE (July 14, 1868 – July 12, 1926) was a British writer, traveller, political analyst, administrator in Arabia, and an archaeologist who mapped and identified Anatolian and Mesopotamian ruins. She was appointed… …   Wikipedia

  • Gertrude Bell — Gertrude Bell. Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell (14 de julio de 1868, Durham 12 de julio de 1926, Bagdad) fue una escritora, viajera, politóloga y administradora colonial británica. Luego de graduarse en la facultad Lady Margaret Hall, viajó a… …   Wikipedia Español

  • gertrude — /gerr troohd/, n. a slip or underdress for infants. [1925 30, Amer.; special use of GERTRUDE] * * * (as used in expressions) Bell Gertrude Ederle Gertrude Caroline Elion Gertrude Belle Jekyll Gertrude Lawrence Gertrude Mayer Maria Gertrude Maria… …   Universalium

  • Gertrude — /gerr troohd/, n. a female given name: from Germanic words meaning spear and strength. * * * (as used in expressions) Bell Gertrude Ederle Gertrude Caroline Elion Gertrude Belle Jekyll Gertrude Lawrence Gertrude Mayer Maria Gertrude Maria… …   Universalium

  • Gertrude — (as used in expressions) Bell, Gertrude Ederle, Gertrude (Caroline) Elion, Gertrude (Belle) Jekyll, Gertrude Lawrence, Gertrude Mayer, Maria (Gertrude) Maria (Gertrude) Goeppert Gertrude Malissa Nix Pridgett Stein, Gertrude Whitney, Gertrude… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • bell — bell1 bell less, adj. /bel/, n. 1. a hollow instrument of cast metal, typically cup shaped with a flaring mouth, suspended from the vertex and rung by the strokes of a clapper, hammer, or the like. 2. the stroke or sound of such an instrument: We …   Universalium

  • Bell — /bel/, n. 1. Acton /ak teuhn/, pen name of Anne Brontë. 2. Alexander Graham, 1847 1922, U.S. scientist, born in Scotland: inventor of the telephone. 3. (Arthur) Clive (Howard), 1881 1964, English critic of literature and art. 4. Currer /kerr… …   Universalium

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