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Letter from Gertrude Bell to her stepmother, Dame Florence Bell

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Reference code
Bell, Dame Florence Eveleen Eleanore
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Person(s) mentioned
Hogarth, D.G.
McMahon, Henry
Malcolm, Neill
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 letter plus envelope, paper
Egypt ยป Cairo

30.0444196, 31.2357116

Cairo. Dec. 13. Dearest Mother. It is a terrible calamity about Lady Richmond. I am so very sorry. I have written to Herbert, but not to Elsa as I expect she will not be told. You don't tell me what news you have of her. I am quite happy and begin to feel a little more as if I were getting hold of things. I do the same thing every day, all pleasant but not matter for good letter writing. I have an Arabic lesson from 8.15 to 9.30. Then I walk up to the office and work at tribes or annotate telegrams - the latter is great fun. Back to lunch and then to the office again, and I seldom get home much before 7. Today I proposed myself to lunch with the MacMahons and had a long and very interesting talk with him afterwards. They are extremely kind and have given me a standing invitation to come in to lunch or dinner whenever I like. The daughter is engaged to an Evans Gordon, Margaret's cousin; he was there today, a very nice young soldier. I dined with Neill Malcolm one night last week - there were various generals, but usually I dine here with Col. Wright, Mr Lawrence and a party of people - we all share the same table. And it is not till after dinner that I go back to Arabic and do a little work for next morning. I wonder if you sent me out a purple chiffon evening gown by Lady Brassey. I telegraphed for it, but I haven't heard anything of it or her yet. Also a new white shirt from Osporat which I found I hadn't got. I am rather short of clothes for a prolonged stay in Cairo. It's heavenly weather - almost too nice for war time, I feel. Still I think I'm right to be here. My dear love to Father and I am ever your very affectionate daughter Gertrude

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