The writings of one of the great woman adventurers of the twentieth century - the 'female Lawrence of Arabia' - and the subject of a new film starring Nicole Kidman. In the last century, few people lived more astounding - or influential - lives than Gertrude Bell. During World War I, she worked her way up from spy to army major to become one of the most powerful woman in the British Empire. After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, she was instrumental in drawing the borders that define the region today, including creating an independent Iraq. This is the epic story of Bell's life, told through her letters, military dispatches, diary entries, and other writings. It offers a unique and intimate look behind the public mask of a woman who shaped nations. Georgina Howell is the author of the acclaimed biography Gertrude Bell- Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations .