Gertrude was only three years old when her mother died. [17]:149 Faisal was crowned king of Iraq on 23 August 1921, but he was not completely welcomed. She subsequently served as the President of the Library Committee from 1921 to 1924. They could then be encouraged to join the British against the Ottoman Empire. His role in British policy-making exposed Gertrude at a young age to international matters and most likely encouraged her curiosity for the world, and her later involvement in international politics.[6]. The physical and mental pressure of authoring numerous books, intelligence briefings, correspondence work along with years of heavy smoking and the heat of Baghdad, took a toll on her health. King Faisal was said to have watched the procession from his balcony. Gertrude Bell was awarded the Order of the British Empire and her works got a special mention in the British Parliament. At the Cairo Conference Bell and Lawrence highly recommended Faisal bin Hussein, (the son of Hussein, Sherif of Mecca), former commander of the Arab forces that helped the British during the war and entered Damascus at the culmination of the Arab Revolt. She often acquired a team of locals which she directed and led on her expeditions. The museum opened in 1923 owing much of its creation, collections and cataloguing to Bell. She brought in extensive collections, such as from the Babylonian Empire. Arriving in February 1916, she did not, at first, receive an official position, but instead helped Hogarth set about organising and processing her own, Lawrence's and Capt. Links with North East England: Gertrude was born on 14th July 1868 in Washington New Hall, County Durham, the home of her grandfather, "ironmaster" Sir Isaac Lowthian Bell. Gertrude Bell along with her colleague Lawrence and Cox were part of a group of ‘Orientalists’ specially selected by Winston Churchill to represent British interests at the 1921 Conference in Cairo to determine the boundaries of the British Mandate. Gertrude Bell. A Yorkshire woman, Gertrude Bell had both. Later, she was asked by British Intelligence to get soldiers through the deserts, and from the World War I period until her death she was the only woman holding political power and influence in shaping British imperial policy in the Middle East. Gertrude was three years old when she lost her mother, who died when Gertrude's brother Maurice was born. Jane Digby, Gertrude Bell and Freya Stark had lives as illustrious as their male counterparts in the Middle East. Archaeologist, linguist, and the greatest woman mountaineer of her age, in 1921 she drew the boundaries of the country that became Iraq. She also supervised the selection of appointees for cabinet and other leadership posts in the new government.,,,,, Her grandfather was the ironmaster Sir Isaac Lowthian Bell, an industrialist and a Liberal Member of Parliament, in Benjamin Disraeli's second term. [8]:413–419[31][32], Throughout the early 1920s Bell was an integral part of the administration of Iraq. Gertrude Bell was an archaeologist, a linguist, traveller, and the greatest woman mountaineer of her age. Washington, Tyne and Wear. In 1961, this became the National Library of Iraq. Her mother died in childbirth two year after Bell's birth, and a stepmother raised the young child. Bell, died at Indianapolis, last Sunday, of typhoid fever. But when Gertrude was seven years old, her father remarried, providing her a stepmother, Florence Bell (née Olliffe), and eventually, three half-siblings. She died here, two days before her 58th birthday in 1926, in an apparent suicide from an overdose of sleeping pills, a manner of death that was kept silent at … In 1903, her father, German-born Julius Otto Krieger, relocated the family to Los Angeles, California. Referred to by Arabs as "al-Khatun" (a Lady of the Court who keeps an open eye and ear for the benefit of the State), she was a confidante of King Faisal of Iraq and helped ease his passage into the role, amongst Iraq's other tribal leaders at the start of his reign. But I prefer another reading. Gertrude Bell, CBE, was an English writer, archaeologist, traveler and diplomat, who was highly influential in helping the British Empire exert its dominance in the Transjordan, Ottoman and Mesopotamian regions of the Middle East. She had a brief relationship with Sir Frank Swettenham, a British colonial administrator in Singapore. In July 1926, plagued by ill-health, Gertrude Bell died in an apparent suicide at her home in Baghdad. In 1888 Bell earned a degree from the University of Oxford. On 11 October 1920, Percy Cox returned to Baghdad and asked her to continue as Oriental Secretary, acting as liaison with the forthcoming Arab government. She was a misfit, one that naturally went against the stereotyped woman of the early twentieth century. Keeping all the groups under control in Iraq was essential to balance the political and economic interests of the British Empire. Gertrude Bell was a writer, explorer and archaeologist. [16] She also had an unconsummated affair with Maj. Charles Doughty-Wylie, a married man, with whom she exchanged love letters from 1913 to 1915. Iraq not only contained valuable resources in oil but would act as a buffer zone, with the help of Kurds in the north as a standing army in the region to protect against Turkey, Persia (Iran), and Syria. Gertrude Bell was opposed to the Zionist movement because she felt it was unfair for Jewish rule to be imposed on the Arab inhabitants of Palestine. More people should know about Gertrude Bell. [8]:33–34 Throughout her life, Gertrude consulted on political matters with her father, who had also served for many years in various governmental positions. She was born July 4, 1895 in McCartney, Pa., the daughter of the late Frank and Harriett Cross Pusey. Renowned archaeologist and historian Lt. Cmdr. British officials in London, especially Churchill, were highly concerned about cutting heavy costs in the colonies, including the cost of quashing tribal infighting. The RSC’s latest play traces Gertrude Bell’s fraught attempt to set up a museum in Iraq. Her mother died shortly after the birth of her younger brother in 1871, and her father remarried five years later. Died: 21 February 1999, Chapel Hill, NC, USA Affiliation at the time of the award: Wellcome Research Laboratories, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA Prize motivation: "for their discoveries of important principles for drug treatment."