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The Resource Bell of the desert, Alan Gold

Bell of the desert, Alan Gold

Label
Bell of the desert
Title
Bell of the desert
Statement of responsibility
Alan Gold
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
A grand historical novel about Gertrude Bell, one of the most influential women of the twentieth century. She was the most celebrated adventurer of her day, the brains behind Lawrence of Arabia, an adviser to kings and desert sheikhs, and the British government's secret weapon in WWI in the campaign against the Turks. A brilliant academic, mountaineer, explorer, linguist, politician, and towering literary figure, Gertrude Bell is the most significant unsung heroine of the twentieth century. Alan Gold's meticulously researched novel accurately opens history's pages on a peerless woman who broke all molds on how Victorian women were supposed to behave--socially, intellectually, and physically. Guiding the events of the day in open, sanctioned diplomacy and adventure all across the Middle East, her influence on the men at the vanguard of history, and her unparalleled skill in sculpting the pathways and influences of the English, French, and Arab allies on the region, all lead to perhaps her greatest achievement: single-handedly creating today's Iraq. Told as a biographical narrative of history, Alan Gold reveals that, more than any other single figure, it was this extraordinary woman who most determinedly fashioned the Arab world as we know it today
Writing style
Review
Gold (Bloodline, 2014, etc.) crafts highly detailed historical fiction from the unparalleled life of Gertrude Bell, English debutante-turned-explorer-turned World War I diplomatic intelligence officer.Before there was Lawrence of Arabia, there was Bell, "Daughter of the Desert," a woman of protean intelligence, political acumen and undying passion for Arabia who became a seminal figure in Arab nationalism. After her formal "coming out," Bell found prospective suitors less than her intellectual equals. Then she met Hashemite sheik Abd al-Rahman as he consulted her uncle, a British ambassador, and began to passionately explore Arabia and its culture. She often journeyed alone, a shocking decision then. Gold has Bell meet young T.E. Lawrence at an archaeological dig at Carchemish. They develop a platonic love that carries on through WWI, as the fey young scholar becomes Lawrence of Arabia. Postwar, there are political machinations, "a seething mass of distortions, contradictions, lies, evasions, prejudices, denials, and demands," as Britain and France remain blind to colonialism's impending collapse. Bell and Lawrence, albeit enamored of Arabia, were burdened by their own prejudices, perceiving Arabs as a "medieval and patronizing bunch of chauvinistic jingoists." While Gold's fact-packed narrative recounts the transition of desert fiefdoms into unstable oil-rich states wracked by tribal tensions, his character sketches are what shines—including Churchill, "a likeable, devious and somewhat untrustworthy politician," and the brilliant Faisal, third son of the Hashemite ruler of Mecca and Medina, installed as king of the Bell-created nation of Iraq. Beyond the political scheming, there's romance, literary appreciation for outsized desert vistas, acknowledgment of Arabia's intellectual contributions, illustrations of gender oppression, and a précis on the complex elements relating to Zionism and Palestine. Gold offers an interesting, imaginative chronicle of an extraordinary woman present at the creation of post-colonial Arab-Western tensions. A dense, highly detailed fictional yin to the yang of Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom.(Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2014)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10389754
Cataloging source
QPPL
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1945-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Gold, Alan
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Bell, Gertrude Lowthian
  • Arabists
  • Women archaeologists
  • Colonial administrators
  • Tribes
  • Australian fiction
  • Archaeologists
  • Iraq
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
the life and times of Gertrude Bell, the woman who created Iraq
Label
Bell of the desert, Alan Gold
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Content category
text
Control code
000053769623
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
451 pages
Isbn
9781631580079
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
System control number
(OCoLC)895077180
Label
Bell of the desert, Alan Gold
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Content category
text
Control code
000053769623
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
451 pages
Isbn
9781631580079
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
System control number
(OCoLC)895077180

Library Locations

    • Lionel Bowen Library and Community CentreBorrow it
      669-673 Anzac Parade, Marouba, NSW, 2035, AU
      -33.938111 151.237977
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