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The word 'Bagdad' which used to be regarded as the English name of the town, a translation and not a transliteration, was spelt as I have given it in Gertrude's first letters long ago. Hogatth has been good enough to read the preceding pages of this Prefatory Note, and to give them his sanction. But Gertrude's keen interest in every detail concerning her home was so delightful, and present her in such a new light to many who knew her only in public that these passages have been included. Courtney gradually gave place to an increasing taste for dress, and she is remembered by more than one person who saw her during the finals of the History School appearing in different clothes every day. One suddenly finds that one had formulated some view from which it is very difficult to back out not because of one's interlocutor but because the mere fact of fitting it with words engraves it upon one's mind. The ladies of Clarence were friendly, and oh, unexpected joy ! The Agail have pitched a black tent not far from me, and stuck a lance into the ground beside it, and they are now making bread for their supper. I wish I could manage to travel on the approved lines, but the fates are against me.
It is now everywhere, even when regarded as a translation, spelt 'Baghdad' and it ought to have been so spelt in this book. He adds the following paragraph: "A more difficult question still in reproducing proper names has been raised by the vowel signs in Arabic, including that for the ain and by the diacritical points and marks which convey either nothing or a false meaning to uninstructed Western eyes." I have therefore omitted the vowel signs altogether. I am most grateful to the people who have given me counsel and help in compiling this book: Sir Valentine Chirol, Mrs. Her love for her family, for her parents, for her brothers and sisters, her joy in her home life, has always seemed to those who shared that life to be so beautiful that it is worth dwelling on by the side of more exceptional experiences, and by the side of the world-famous achievements of one whose later life especially might well have separated her in mind and sympathy as well as in person from her belongings. The parents of the candidates were admitted to the 'viva voce' part of the examination, and I have a vivid picture in my memory of Gertrude, showing no trace of nervousness sitting very upright at a table, beneath which her slender feet in neat brown shoes were crossed. Then one is reduced to the disagreeable necessity of trying even involuntarily to make the facts of one's real life fit into it thereby involving oneself in a mist of half-truths and half-falsehoods which cling about one's mind do what one will to shake them off. I had laid all my plans for coming back from Palmyra like a lady, but no! We got off rather late this morning, it was before I left Ain El Baida, and then the mules were not ready.
Gertrude herself in her letters used often to spell the same word in different ways, sometimes because she was trying experiments in transliteration, sometimes deliberately adopting a new way, sometimes because the same word is differently pronounced in Arabic or in Turkish. I am also much indebted to the following for placing at my disposal maps or photographs, letters or portions of letters from Gertrude in their possession, or accounts of her written by themselves: Captain J. To most people outside her own circle Gertrude was chiefly known by her achievements in the East, and it is probably the story of these that they will look for in this book. The pigion was brought into our room it drank some milk Maurice spilt a lot on my bed. The History Lecturer at Queens College at that time was Mr. Gertrude's intelligence and aptitude for history impressed him keenly, and he strongly urged us to let her go to Oxford and go in for the History School. She had a most engaging way of saying 'Well you know, my father says so and so' as a final opinion on every question under discussion-[and indeed to the end of her life Gertrude, with the same absolute confidence would have been capable of still quoting the same authority as final]. Yesterday morning I went to the French Literature class at Caroline's [Hon. It is lovely, you must learn it the first dancing lesson you are here. We had a very agreeable chat and they gave me some gingerbread biscuits, for which I blessed them and we made plans for meeting in Damascus.
These variations in spelling have added a good deal to the difficulty of editing her letters especially as reference to expert opinion has occasionally shown that experts themselves do not always agree as to which form of transliteration is the best. But the letters here published, from the time she was twenty until the end of her life, show such an amazing range of many-sided ability that they may seem to those who read them to present a picture worth recording at every stage. The time had not yet come when it was a usual part of a girl's education to go to a University, and it was with some qualms that we consented. Gertrude went to Lady Margaret Hall, in 1886 just before she was eighteen, she left it in June 1888 just before she was twenty, and wound up, after those two years, by taking a brilliant First Class in Modern History. Courtney, who, in a delightful article contributed to the North American Review, entitled "Gertrude Bell, a personal study" and also in her interesting book "Recollected in Tranquillity," has described Gertrude as she was when she first arrived at Lady Margaret Hall-I quote both from the article and the book. "She threw herself with untiring energy into every phase of college life, she swam, she rowed, she played tennis, and hockey, she danced, she spoke in debates; she kept up with modern literature, and told us tales of modern authors, most of whom were her childhood's friends. Kitcat] and I walked across the Green Park to the London Library where I had a delicious rummage with a very amiable sub-librarian who routed out all the editions of Sir Th. Sidney for me to see I took down the names and dates and armed with these I felt prepared to face Bain himself. Mrs Norman Grosvenor] house, I came back here, dressed, and went to Queen Street for a seven o'clock dinner-we were going to the Spanish exhibition after it. The children and I played the race game in the nursery. It was so fine this afternoon, a rough sea almost up to the esplanade. I wouldn't really have changed places with them, and I prefer a Sheikh from Nejd to a dragoman from Jerusalem as a travelling companion.
I have therefore adopted the plan of spelling the names as they are found when they occur in the letters for the first time, and keeping to it. Scholar, poet, historian, archaeologist, art critic, mountaineer, explorer, gardener, naturalist, distinguished servant of the State, Gertrude was all of these, and was recognised by experts as an expert in them all. One of her contemporaries at Lady Margaret was Janet Hogarth, now Mrs. Yet all the time she put in seven hours of work, and at the end of two years she won as brilliant a First Class in the School of Modern History as has ever been won at Oxford." And Many years later Mrs. In the afternoon Sophie [my younger sister, now Mrs. We drove in hansoms to the exhibition and Captain ---- brought me home, I hope that doesn't shock you; I discussed religious beliefs all the way there and very metaphysical conceptions of truth all the way back-that sounds rather steep doesn't it--I love talking to people when they really will talk sensibly and about things which one wants to discuss. They have a great plan but unfortunately they have not hit upon any way of carrying it out, of all catching the measles and being laid up together indefinitely. I walked a long time and then came in and did history for to-morrow. We got to our camping place, Ain el Baida, about ---It's a short march, but there's no water beyond. I was glad to get under the shadow of my tent and to lunch and sleep.
Thus Gertrude used to write at first 'Kaimmakam,' in her later letters 'Qaimmaqam.' I have spelt it uniformly with a K for the convenience of the reader; and so with other words in which the Q has now supplemented the K. On the other hand, in some of the letters addressed to her family are references to subjects or events that may seem trivial or unimportant. Courtney who had herself taken a first class (in Moral Philosophy) the same year as Gertrude, writes as follows in the 'Brown Book', which is the organ of Lady Margaret Hall: "I never lost touch with her for well nigh forty years after we parted in the First Class, as she said the day I went round to Sloane Street to wish her joy when the History List appeared" The untidiness in Gertrude's appearance referred to by Mrs. I am rather inclined to think however that it is a dangerous Amusement, for one is so ready to make oneself believe that the things one says and the theories one makes are really guiding principles of one's life whereas a matter of fact they are not at all. It seemed to me a gruesome form of conversation and I left them discussing it and their supper very happily. Since then I've been watching the troops of camels come slowly in, their masters carrying a club or an enormous lance 12 feet long, and all the process of drawing water from the deep well and emptying it into basins hastily scooped out in the ground for the camels to drink.
Gertrude was eight when her father and I were married. Her letters often recount what she was doing with her two little sisters who adored her. Some letters are here given that she wrote between 18 during the time spent in England in one of our two homes either in London in the house shared with my mother or at Redcar, where we lived until 1904. It was a wild looking party that was gathered round the coffee pot.
She was a child of spirit and initiative, as may be imagined. These letters are mostly about every day happenings, always lifted into something new and exciting by Gertrude's youthful zest. There's lots of negro blood in them, owing, I think, to their having negro slaves, one of whom was with them.
Please Papa says will you ask Auntie Florence if she will order us some honey like her own. His unmarried sister, Ada Bell, was then living with them. Hugo was ten years Younger than Gertrude, Elsa eleven years younger, Molly thirteen years. The little girls spent all day with Hunt [their nurse] at her brother-in-laws. Molly says he was a very kind man, he gave them strawberries and cream and lots of flowers but to their surprise he had no servants though he has a conservatory! Often the bread runs short, and only dates and milk remain. Durham, the residence of her grandfather, Isaac Lowthian Bell, F. His wife was Margaret Pattinson, of Alston in Cumberland, daughter of Hugh Lee Pattinson, F. Gertrude therefore had the possibility of inheriting from both Northumbrian and Cumbrian forbears some of the energy and intelligence of the north. insertion and the two nainsook frocks with the 10d or would you prefer them to be all trimmed with the cheaper insertion? Beyond them is the immense Temple of Baal; the modern town is built inside it and its rows of columns rise out of a mass of mud roofs. V 1899-1900 - JERUSALEM AND THE FIRST DESERT JOURNEYS VI 1900 - DESERT EXCURSIONS FROM JERUSALEM VII 1901-1902 - SWITZERLAND, SYRIA, ENGLAND VIII 1902-1903 - ROUND THE WORLD FOR THE SECOND TIME IX 1903-1909 - ENGLAND, SWITZERLAND, PARIS X 1905 - SYRIA, ASIA MINOR XI 1905-1909 - LONDON, ASIA MINOR, LONDON XII 1910-1911 - ITALY, ACROSS THE SYRIAN DESERT XIII 1913-1914 - THE JOURNEY To HAYIL XIV 1914-15-16 - WAR WORK AT BOULOGNE, LONDON AND CAIRO XV 1916-1917 - DELHI AND BASRAH VOLUME ONE ILLUSTRATIONS (at the end of this file) Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell, to give her all her names, although she rarely used the second, was born on the 14th July, 1868, at Washington Hall, Co. Sir Lowthian, ironmaster and colliery owner in the county of Durham, was a distinguished man of science. Gertrude's father, now Sir Hugh Bell, was Sir Lowthian's eldest son; her mother was Mary Shield, daughter of John Shield, of Newcastle-on-Tyne. Would you like to have Molly's cambric frock trimmed with the 6d. It is a mass of columns, ranged into long avenues, grouped into temples, lying broken on the sand or pointing one long solitary finger to Heaven.[This is the earliest letter extant from Gertrude, dated when she was six years old. But it was all part of her entire honesty and independence of judgment: and the time was to come when many a distinguished foreign statesman not only listened to the opinions she proffered but accepted them and acted on them. I paid everything but the butcher with what you sent, and had over 1 pound balance which I have kept for next time. So we all played at jumping over a string, not a very cooling occupation, till fortunately Miss Thomson came and called them in. There is no water between Ain el Baida and Karyatein, three hours on.It is addressed to me, at a time when she was not yet my little daughter but my "affectionate little friend." Mopsa, about whom she writes, was a large grey Persian cat, who played a very prominent part in the household.] REDBARNS, COATHAM, REDCAR, Sept., 25th, 1874. Gertrude hardly ever dated her letters except by the day of the week, sometimes not even that, so that where the envelope has not been preserved I have had to guess the year by the context. I went to Clarence to-day and arranged about the nursing lecture to-morrow,-there were a lot of things to prepare for it. Did we tell you how Molly puzzled and shocked her dreadfully the other day by asking her suddenly what was the French for "this horse has the staggers"! I caught up the Agail who had stopped to breakfast and were making coffee and baking bread--they eat nothing in the morning before they start.