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The Book Club – “Desert Queen” by Janet Wallach
10th October 2018 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Here is the story of Gertrude Bell, who explored, mapped, and excavated the Arab world throughout the early twentieth century. Recruited by British intelligence during World War I, she played a crucial role in obtaining the loyalty of Arab leaders, and her connections and information provided the brains to match T. E. Lawrence’s brawn. After the war, she played a major role in creating the modern Middle East and was, at the time, considered the most powerful woman in the British Empire.
In this masterful biography, Janet Wallach shows us the woman behind these achievements -a woman whose passion and defiant independence were at odds with the confined and custom-bound England she left behind. Too long eclipsed by Lawrence, Gertrude Bell emerges at last in her own right as a vital player on the stage of modern history, and as a woman whose life was both a heart breaking story and a grand adventure.
Gertrude Bell was an amazing person. Brilliant, well-travelled, fluent in multiple languages, and extraordinarily self-confident, she blazed trails where few Europeans and no Victorian-era women had ever been.
At the October meeting we will also be discussing titles to read in 2019, so please bring suggestions for books to this meeting