Unfortunately the brilliant life of Gertrude Bell came to a tragic conclusion in July 1926. The Life of Gertrude Bell, English Explorer in Iraq. In the tributes following her death, she was praised for both her achievements and her personality by her British colleagues, and she was posthumously awarded the Order of the British Empire. Letters 25 February 1911. Her history and arts writing has been featured on Slate, HowlRound, and BroadwayWorld.​. Prahl, Amanda. On 12 July 1926, Bell was discovered to have overdosed on sleeping pills. Unlike many of her countrymen, she was regarded with considerable respect by the locals in Iraq, Jordan, and other countries. Prahl, Amanda. Despite the limitations placed on female students, Bell graduated with first-class honors in just two years, becoming one of the first two Oxford women to achieve those honors with a modern history degree (the other was her classmate Alice Greenwood). Her family's fortune had started to … After British forces captured Baghdad in 1917, Bell was given the title of Oriental Secretary and ordered to assist in the restructuring of the area that had previously been the Ottoman Empire. When Bell briefly re­turned to Britain in 1925, she faced fam­ily prob­lems and ill health. Bell never married or had any children, and only had a few known romantic attachments. Only two years later, she published her first book, Persian Pictures, describing these travels. What Is the Difference Between Iran and Iraq? Now a frequent traveller and visitor of the Middle East she accompanied Sir William Ramsay on an excavation of Binbirkilise, a location within the Ottoman Empire known for its Byzantine church ruins. Dearest Mother. During her time serving the British Army in the Middle East she also encountered T.E Lawrence whilst working in the Arab Bureau in Cairo, gathering intelligence on the Ottoman Empire. Yesterday morning was tolerably fine - at least it did not rain - so we set off at 8 on our way to Homs [Hims]. Born into a wealthy family in northern England, Gertrude was a free spirit from the beginning. When did she die? Whilst she lost her mother at a very young age, her father, Sir Hugh Bell, 2nd Baronet became an important mentor throughout her life. This is a black and white photograph which includes Winston Churchill (wearing sunglasses), Clementine Churchill, Gertrude Bell and T.E. In 1907 Bell returned to Asia Minor with the British archeologist Sir William Ramsay to help excavate early Christian churches. Gertrude Bell became a crucial figure in the British Empire, a well-known traveller as well as writer, her in-depth knowledge of the Middle East proved to be her making. Ramadi [Ramadi, Ar]. Mini Biography of Gertrude Bell Gertrude Bell was the first woman to graduate from Oxford University with a first class honours in history in 1888. In 1925, she returned to England only to face a new set of problems. Gertrude Bell return to Britain in 1925, where she faced family problems and ill health. In particular, her focus was the new creation of Iraq. Her passion for archaeology took her to the region of Mesopotamia, now part of modern-day Iraq but also parts of Syria and Turkey in Western Asia. Starting from there, Bell gained remarkable influence in shaping British policy in the area. Fresh inspiration for seeing Petra has come from Gertrude Bell (1868–1926), the intrepid English explorer, archaeologist, photographer, writer, and political officer whose story is told in Sabine Krayenbühl and Zeva Oelbaum’s richly atmospheric documentary Letters From Baghdad.Bell is most famous now as a nation builder—one of the creators of Iraq. As part of her post-war role, she would prove instrumental in shaping the modern-day country of Iraq, initiating borders as well as installing the future leader, King Faisal in 1922. She was an archaeologist, a linguist and the greatest woman mountaineer of her age. She was buried at the British cemetery in the Bab al-Sharji district in Baghdad. Bell quickly became a bonafide adventurer, going mountaineering in Switzerland and developing fluency in several languages, including French, German, Persian, and Arabic (plus proficiency in Italian and Turkish). The group was set up by Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill to discuss the future of Arab nations. Her involvement in the museum was destined to be her last project as she died from an overdose of sleeping pills in Baghdad in July 1926. We did not leave Hit [(Is)] yesterday till 1 o'clock, having a good deal of repacking to do. Over the next few years, she remained a key part of the new Iraqi administration. They worked on excavations in modern-day Turkey, as well as the discovery of a field of ancient ruins in the north of Syria. But fortunately for her, she found her passion for the desert and archaeology when she travelled to Jerusalem to study Arabic in 1899. 5621230. Gertrude Bell seems to have supported independence for the Arab regions, but did not take as much of a hard stand on it as Lawrence. She also spent considerable time in the Arabian Peninsula over the course of more than a decade. So much so, that some of her publications were used in the British army as a kind of guide book for the new soldiers arriving in Basra. On the evening of July 11, 1926, Gertrude Bell took an overdose of sleeping pills and tranquilizers in her Baghdad home and fell asleep. Fluent in Persian and Arabic, Bell worked for … On 12 July 1926, Bell was dis­cov­ered dead, of an ap­par­ent over­dose of sleep­ing pills. During her expeditions, she forged close relationships with locals and tribe leaders. ‘Queen of the Desert’ and the female ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ are just some of the names attributed to the intrepid female traveller Getrude Bell. Her fam­ily's for­tune had begun to de­cline due to the onset of post-World War I strikes by work­ers in Britain and eco­nomic de­pres­sion in Eu­rope. Both men in her life would have an important influence on her as she was exposed to an internationalism and deep intellectual discussions from a young age. ThoughtCo, Aug. 29, 2020, thoughtco.com/gertrude-bell-4691614. She was born in July 1868 at Washington New Hall in County Durham, to a family that was purported to be the sixth richest family in the country. After meeting the administrator Sir Frank Swettenham on a visit to Singapore, she kept up a correspondence with him, despite their 18-year age gap. Her family's fortune had begun to decline due to the onset of post-World War I worker strikes in Britain and economic depression in Europe. Along the way Bell was robbed of her money and, most importantly, her notebooks. It is unknown whether the overdose was an inte… On 12 July 1926, Bell was discovered dead, of an apparent overdose of sleeping pills. In addition to simply traveling, Bell continued some of her more daring expeditions. It was here that she visited the ruins of Ukhaidir and travelled on to Babylon before returning to Carchemish. Corbis Historical / Getty Images Political Career . In the first of many tragedies and set-backs in her life, Gertrude’s mother died when she was 3. By 1907 she produced one of many publications detailing her observations and experiences of the Middle East entitled, “Syria: the Desert and the Sown”, providing great detail and intrigue about some of the most important locations in the Middle East. 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