Desert Queen

  • by Janet Wallach
  • Narrated by Jean Gilpin
  • 20 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Turning her back on her privileged life in Victorian England, Gertrude Bell (1868-1926), fired by her innate curiosity, journeyed the world and became fascinated with all things Arab. Traveling the length and breadth of the Arab region, armed with a love for its language and its people, she not only produced several enormously popular books based on her experiences but became instrumental to the British foreign office.
When World War I erupted, and the British needed the loyalty of the Arab leaders, it was Gertrude Bell's work and connections that helped provide the brain for T. E. Lawrence's military brawn. After the war she participated in both the Paris and Cairo conferences, played a major role in creating the modern Middle East, and was generally considered the most powerful woman in the British Empire.
In this incident-packed biography, Janet Wallach reveals a woman whose achievements and independent spirit were especially remarkable for her times, and who brought the same passion and intensity to her explorations as she did to her rich romantic life. Too long eclipsed by Lawrence's fame, Gertrude Bell emerges in this first major biography as a woman whose accomplishments rank as crucial to world history (especially in light of the continuing geopolitical importance of the Middle East) and whose life was a grand adventure.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A very interesting book

What did you love best about Desert Queen?

Details of the Arab world in the early 20th century and the extraordinary personality of Gertrude Bell


What other book might you compare Desert Queen to and why?

One cannot compare apples and oranges. Each biography is therefore different because of the different personalties and situarions


What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The narrator did an excellent job , especially with all the arab names


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

That would have been impossible and there was so much information one had to pause to digest each bit


Any additional comments?

The author took too long to describe Bell's character and personalikty and I preferred the last third with all the facts and details

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- MRS

Great beginning, then gets boring

The story was much longer than I anticipated and became long-winded. Lots of intricate detail looses the attention easily and I found myself disinterested.
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- Msz

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-04-2012
  • Publisher: Random House Audio