BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize
Archaeologist, spy, Arabist, linguist, author, poet, photographer, mountaineer and nation builder, Gertrude Bell was born in 1868 into a world of privilege and plenty, but she turned her back on all that for her passion for the Arab peoples, becoming the architect of the independent kingdom of Iraq and seeing its first king Faisal safely onto the throne in 1921. Daughter of the Desert is her story, vividly told and impeccably researched, drawing on Gertrude’s own writings, both published and unpublished. It is a compelling portrait of a woman who transcended the restrictions of her class and age and in so doing created a remarkable and enduring legacy.
‘What a great Oscar-laden biopic this will make …the combination of epic scenes and personal drama makes Georgina Howell’s saga a winner’ Daily Express
'Howell sketches in the gradations of colour and emotion that have been lacking in hitherto monochrome accounts of Bell's life ... Exemplary' Sunday Times
‘Riveting … few women have had a life more worth reading about.’ Diana Athill, Literary Review
Georgina Howell, author, fashion journalist and former Vogue features editor, has passed away aged 73.
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