Women Travellers (and photographers): Gertrude Bell
I have been fascinated by Gertrude Bell ever since I happened upon a biography about her in a charity shop. She has been the subject of a recent film, Letters from Baghdad , which documents her life as an archaeologist, traveller and photographer. She spent most of he time in the Middle East, helping to shape the modern states (particularly Iraq) as they are today. She would head into the desert taking photos, mapping the area and bonding with its people (Bell spoke fluent Arabic and Farsi) and was a true pioneer of her day.