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Letter from Gertrude Bell to her stepmother, Dame Florence Bell

Short letter in which Bell discusses the imminent departure of Esme Dobbs and other members of the Office, the arrival of Sir Henry Dobbs from Mosul, and the telegram she has written on behalf of King George, noting that it has been decided that it is not suitable for the King to send a message after all. She adds that she has not finished writing her guide book to Iraq, having only completed the section on Baghdad, and that "we" (Iraq) are at war in Sulaimani, and she is hoping to persuade Sir Henry to "wipe up the mess once and for all". Includes a note on the back of the accompanying envelope, asking if the daffodils are out.
Reference code
Bell, Dame Florence Eveleen Eleanore
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Person(s) mentioned
Cornwallis, Ken
Dobbs, Henry
Clayton, Iltyd
Dobbs, Esme
Bourdillon, Bernard Henry
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 letter plus envelope
Iraq ยป Baghdad

33.315241, 44.3660671

Ap. 17. Darling Mother. Your letter of Ap 2 - that's splendid about the mules. I'm reduced to native leather ones, which are rather lovely, however, being pure yellow. King George didn't like my telegram, or rather Mr Thomas didn't think it a suitable occasion for him to send one, so that was all for nothing! And by the way I haven't finished the guide book - only the part about Baghdad.
Oh dear, I shall miss Esme Dobbs when she goes away in May! It has made such a difference having her. And Ken, too, is off as soon as the Treaty is ratified - I shall have more to say on that subject, but I'll say it in another letter - and Iltyd Clayton as soon as he is well, and Bernard ditto. Awful, isn't it. Except Sir Henry, there won't be a live man in the office but me. However we're live enough. But there won't be a live man at all in the Interior. It's to be opes [sic] that the 'Iraq will behave itself.

Sir Henry is just back from Mosul [Mawsil, Al] and I'm eagerly awaiting a summons from him. Incidentally we're at war in Sulaimani [Sulaymaniyah, As], as usual, and I want to try and persuade him to wipe up the mess once and for all.

Goodbye, dearest, I must go and telephone to AHQ to learn how the war is going. Your very affectionate daughter Gertrude

[Note on back of envelope] Are the little daffodils out at the bottom of the lawn?

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