3 thoughts on “Daughter of the Desert, by Georgina Howell

  1. Despite some weaknesses, this does sound wonderful. It’s been on my to-read list for a few years and I really must get to it. It would be especially welcome right now as I’ve been trying to read The Wilder Shores of Love by Lesley Blanch, which, while the focus is on western women in the Middle East, is all about their romantic lives. While I haven’t actually thrown it against the wall yet (it’s a library book after all), I keep coming very, very close and I haven’t even made it through the first of the women profiled. Reading about a woman who actually accomplished things (so many things!) would be a wonderful change.


    1. I could not stand The Wilder Shores of Love. It was so demeaning, reducing those remarkable women to their bloody love lives. Howell serves Bell so much betetr.


  2. Georgina Howell’s biography of Gertrude Bell is certainly a informative and well-written read but the chapter on GB’s romance with DDW deserves some scrutiny by interested historians. It has been proven that GB could not have been the “woman in black” visiting DDW’s grave at Gallipoli and she gives little credit to DDW’s wife, Lily, who was as formidable as GB in her travels and work as a nurse and not quite the “little wife” as presented in the book.

    DDW and Lily honeymooned on the North West Frontier and later made a journey from Muscat to Syria, hiring horses along the way and living in tents for most of the journey visiting ancient sites of interest and Lily worked tirelessly throughout WW1 eventually running a hospital on the island of Tenedos not far from where here husband was buried.

    For those interested Dr Graham Best has written a biography of GB – Bezique – and this is worth reading to fill in some of the gaps in Daughter/Queen of the Desert. It flew under my radar for some time as the book was privately published but is one of the best biographies I have read for a long time. Dr Best has a website that you can browse if interested: https://www.beziquegertrudebell.uk/ and for those interested in the fascinating life of GB will certainly find out more about here life.


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