Queen Of The Desert

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012015062920150630 (R4)

The story of Gertrude Bell and her crucial role in the foundation of the state of Iraq.

The story of Gertrude Bell and her crucial role in the foundation of the state of Iraq. A ferociously independent-minded young woman, leaves Oxford and experiences the desert for the first time. A few years later oil is discovered in Mesopotamia.

First published in 2006, Queen of the Desert Georgina Howell has been reissued - partly to coincide with the Werner Herzog film of the same title, but also to provide the long view on the troubled history of a remarkable country.

Using letters written by Gertrude Bell throughout the period, the book tells the story of an extraordinarily talented and determined woman who has often been overshadowed by her more famous friend, T.E. Lawrence.

Read by Sylvestra le Touzel and Deborah Findlay (the letters)

Abridged and produced by Jill Waters

A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.