The story of Gertrude Bell and her crucial role in the foundation of the state of Iraq.
With the new King, Faisal, safely installed, Gertrude's energies turned to the establishment of a museum in Baghdad to house the extraordinary collection of artefacts that chronicled Iraq's ancient history.
First published in 2006, Queen of the Desert by Georgina Howell has been reissued - partly to coincide with the Werner Herzog film of the same title, but also to provide the long view on the troubled history of a remarkable country.
Using letters written by Gertrude Bell throughout the period, the book tells the story of an extraordinarily talented and determined woman who has often been overshadowed by her more famous friend, T.E. Lawrence.
Read by Sylvestra le Touzel and Deborah Findlay (the letters)
Abridged and produced by Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.