During and after World War I, Bell's extensive knowledge of the Middle East led to her working for the British Government and she was a key individual in the discussions that led to the creation of Iraq following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire.
Towards the end of her life she was responsible for setting up the National Museum in Baghdad as well as writing Iraq's first antiquities laws.
Gertrude Bell's career has often been overshadowed by her more famous contemporary T.E.
Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia). The varied essays in this book shed light on her legacy and seek to re-establish her importance to the recent history of the Middle East.