Remembered Today:

Ghazala

Gertrude Bell

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On 22/04/2017 at 07:21, michaeldr said:

Does anyone know where CDW's letters are?

 

His correspondence with Sir Reginald Wingate is in Durham University Library Special Collections, but TNA doesn't feature any other letters of his except some letters from East Africa used by the Admiralty in compiling the Official History.

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ID: 53   Posted (edited)

 

32 minutes ago, seaJane said:

His correspondence with Sir Reginald Wingate is in Durham University Library Special Collections, but TNA doesn't feature any other letters of his except some letters from East Africa used by the Admiralty in compiling the Official History.

 

SJ,

 

Many thanks for taking the time to check on Wingate.

And my very sincere apologies for my laziness in using only initials,

in referring to CDW however, I had in mind Charles Doughty-Wylie and his letters addressed to Ms Bell

 

regards

Michael

Edited by michaeldr

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29 minutes ago, michaeldr said:

 

 

SJ,

 

Many thanks for taking the time to check on Wingate.

And my very sincere apologies for my laziness in using only initials,

in referring to CDW however, I had in mind Charles Doughty-Wylie and his letters addressed to Ms Bell

 

regards

Michael

That's all right Michael, it was indeed Charles Doughty-Wylie's name that I checked, though it would have made more sense to check GB's...

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(which I have now done - too many TNA responses to scroll through, but all looks interesting!)

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Back to Gerty... Aside from other achievements I have just learnt from from SALON, the Society of Antiquaries newsletter, that thanks to the Sex Disqualification Act 1919 she was also one of the first group of women to be elected as a FSA. It also notes that: "Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert (2015). Rotten Tomatoes found 28 of 31 reviews of this film 'rotten', summarising the critical response thus: 'Queen of the Desert unites some undeniably talented professionals, but it's difficult to discern what drew them together – or understand how its compelling real-life story became such a muddled mess."

 

And on the documentary referenced above? The newsletter continues:

 

"There is no mess or muddle in Letters From Baghdad, an ingenious new documentary film about Bell's life and work which relies entirely on archive texts, and film and photography which has been impressively retouched and brought to life with perceptive dubbing (lengthy acknowledgements include thanks to the owners of 23 private collections, 36 archivists and 14 academic advisors, as well as an even longer institutional archive list, and Janet Wallach, whose biography inspired the making of the film). The only new footage shows actors addressing the viewer in their characters' words taken from correspondence or other records, and occasional motion shots of details such as a pen scribbling. We see Bell herself only in archival images, while Tilda Swinton voices from her letters what is in effect a narrative.
 
It could have been worthy but dry, but it works wonderfully; a similar approach is adopted in a new Oscar-nominated film, I Am Not Your Negro, in which James Baldwin's words are voiced by actor Samuel L Jackson. Sensitive and ruthless editing – a danger for would-be Bell biographers is being overwhelmed by the amount of detail available – has produced an engaging and enjoyable film, with touches of humour, drama and tragedy that find their own place rather than being imposed. Bell's gender is also cleverly handled. We are left in no doubt that she was treated differently from men, especially by the British, often to her disadvantage and sometimes to her benefit: but being a woman is not allowed to define her. Among the rewards from an extraordinary amount of archive film is a world filled with domestic and street scenes, and women, children and men of all ages, escaping the clichés of undiluted deserts and Bedouin warriors. For researchers and academics, this is a case study in the imaginative use of archives. For a wider audience it could be the introduction to Gertrude Bell to inspire a greater appreciation of her achievements.
 
"The film closes with a reading from her last letter, written to her father, describing her delight at the opening of the museum in Baghdad. She died, says the caption, two days before her 58th birthday, from an overdose of sleeping pills. Directed by Zeva Oelbaum and Sabine Krayenbühl, the film premiered in the UK at the BFI London Film Festival last year, and was released in UK cinemas on 21 April.

"The Extraordinary Gertrude Bell: A story of adventure, discovery and political intrigue, is at Kirkleatham Museum, Kirkleatham, Redcar until 14 May."

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Thanks to seaJane for this link.

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From Our Jerusalem, by Bertha Spafford Vesta
[ https://archive.org/stream/ourjersalem000091mbp/ourjersalem000091mbp_djvu.txt ]

 

p.181:- Also while I was directress of the Moslem Girls School I first met Miss Gertrude Bell, traveler, alpine climber, archaeologist, author, and diplomat. She spoke correct and classical Arabic. After attending an Arab luncheon at which Miss Bell and I were the only women present, she asked to see the ladies of the house. So different is the classical Arabic from the colloquial that these women could not understand what she said. It fell to me to translate from classical to the Arabic of the ordinary folk.

 

Miss Bell played an important part in placing King Feisal, son of King Husein of Arabia, on the throne in Damascus and later in Iraq. It was she, I believe, who drew the attention of the War Office to the young archaeologist, T. E. Lawrence, who later became the famous “Lawrence of Arabia.” Miss Bell and I remained friends until her death in Baghdad in 1926. A pleasant coincidence is that my eldest son, Horatio, married Miss Gertrude Bell s niece, Valentine, daughter of the late Admiral Sir Herbert and Lady Richmond......................
…....................................................................................................
p.272:- We saw Colonel Lawrence often after this. He was shy and reserved, and kept away from social gatherings and parties. He had suffered from conjunctivitis and his eyes were weak. One had to get behind his reserve really to know and appreciate his greatness. He rarely spoke about his achievements. We had one topic to which we could always revert in conversation, Gertrude Bell. We both admired her archaeological work, her unusual intellect, her accomplishments, and her writings.

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