Gertrude Bell: The Arabian Diaries, 1913-1914, Hardcover/Gertrude Lowthian Bell
The Englishwoman Gertrude Bell lived an extraordinary life. Her adventures are the stuff of novels: she rode with bandits; braved desert shamals; was captured by Bedouins; and sojourned in a harem. Called the most powerful woman in the British empire, she counselled kings and prime ministers. Bell's colleagues included Lloyd George and Winston Churchill, who in 1921 invited Bell - the only woman whose advice was sought - to the Cairo Conference to determine the future of Mesopotamia. Bell numbered among her closest friends T. E. Lawrence, St. John Philby and Arabian sheiks.