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Letter from Gertrude Bell to her stepmother, Dame Florence Bell

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Bell, Dame Florence Eveleen Eleanore
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
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1 letter plus envelope
Iraq ยป Basra

30.5257657, 47.773797

Basrah [Basrah, Al (Basra)] March 30 Dearest Mother. Father arrived yesterday morning, looking extremely well - it's impossible to say what a joy it was to see him. We've been spending a very amusing morning at Zubair [Zubayr, Az], where he carried on a long conversation with the Shaikh (through me) and made so favourable an impression that the Shaikh presented him with two very ugly little carpets. This afternoon I'm giving a tea party to some 40 of the nobility of Baghdad, to meet him! And tomorrow we go by train to Nasiriyah [Nasiriyah, An] where we stop two nights; then to Hillah [Hillah, Al] and Najaf [Najaf, An] getting to Baghdad on the 8th. It's more amusing than words can say to be showing him round - I feel as if it must be a dream.
We've just had the Political Officer and his wife to lunch and paid a call on the local general who has arranged for our journeys in comfort. We took Father's travelling companion, Col. Nation, with us to Zubair, a very nice man.

I'm quite recovered - did I mention I had bronchitis when I got here? it was a very insignificant bronchitis but enough to make me feel rather ill. However I spent 4 days in bed and had time to recover before Father's arrival.

The boots and umbrella have come - thank you and Maurice so much. And I've also got your letters of Feb 12 and 19 - how exciting about Sybil Thorndike and your play. I was very grateful for the Medea - I had read it before but hadn't got it for my own - tremendous isn't it, but I think the Trojan Women is even more magnificent.

Oh dear it's delightful having Father. We dined with the Van Esses last night and they loved him. Ever your very affectionate daughter Gertrude

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