Regular price: $42.00

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

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.

©1996 Janet Wallach (P)2012 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    65
  • 4 Stars
    43
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    62
  • 4 Stars
    41
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    63
  • 4 Stars
    39
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    3
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Robert
  • McKinney, TX, United States
  • 05-27-17

A very interesting story about an exceptional lady

you probably never heard the story about this exceptional British lady. She was the unofficial queen mother of Iraq. A friend and counsel to Faisel and other turn of the century Arab sheikhs and tribal leaders. She was a Victorian era lady from a prestigious family yet she was more at home in a rough desert camp than in the tea parlor. She played a leading role in establishing Iraq as a constutional monarchy in the post Ottoman era. She made her own way and earned the respect of the Arabs and the British Foreign Srvice in an era when proper ladies served tea and knitted doillies.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • s
  • PLANO, ILLINOIS, United States
  • 03-12-15

this is the best book in a long time AWESOME

If you could sum up Desert Queen in three words, what would they be?

AWESOME, AWESOME,AWESOME

What was one of the most memorable moments of Desert Queen?

her mind,brain,

Which character – as performed by Jean Gilpin – was your favorite?

Gertrude Bell

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I have told my friends to read this book

Any additional comments?

I loved every word of this book<br/>

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Historical Perspective

Puts current events in a historical perspective. Best book I have read in years.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Interesting

This book was very interesting however I did find it a little bit dry at times and way too many names of people I never heard of. Maybe more information on her personality and personal life would have gotten it a higher rating.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Charlotte
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 07-02-14

Boring

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If the book were more interesting

What was most disappointing about Janet Wallach’s story?

Tedious

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

It needed to be read quickly

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

There were interesting facts buried in the tedious unnecessary details.

Any additional comments?

Don't waste your money on this book

0 of 3 people found this review helpful