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Letter from Gertrude Bell to her father, Sir Hugh Bell

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Reference code
Bell, Sir Thomas Hugh Lowthian
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Person(s) mentioned
Wilson, A.T.
Lawrence, T.E.
Hogarth, D.G.
Balfour, Frank
Balfour, Arthur
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 letter, paper
France ยป Paris

48.856614, 2.3522219

Hotel Majestic [Paris] March 7 Darling. You must have been surprised at not hearing fom me before, but the truth is I've dropped into a world so amazing that up to now I've done nothing but gape at it without being able to put a word onto paper. I'm not going even now to tell you what it's like - partly because I can't - but it is clearing up a little. Our Eastern affairs are complex beyond all words and until I came there was no one to put the Mesopotamian side of the question at first hand. The magnates have been extremely kind. I've had a most interesting talk with Lord Milner, who really cares about our problems and wishes to see us put on some sort of workable basis - and I'm lunching tomorrow with Mr Balfour, who, I fancy, really doesn't care. Ultimately I hope to catch Ll. George by the coat tails and if I can manage to do so, I believe I can enlist his sympathies. Meantime we've sent for Col. Wilson from Baghdad and Mr Hogarth from Cairo - the latter at my instigation - and when they come I propose to make a solid bloc of Near Eastern, including Mr Lawrence, and present a united opinion. They have all urged me to stay and I think for the moment that's my business. I'm filling up the time by getting into touch with the French and finding out for myself what their views are. The Mesop. settlement is so closely linked with the Syrian that we can't consider one without the other, and in the case of Syria it's the French attitude that counts. Domnul, Willie and Sir Eyre Crowe are all lending a hand, not to speak of Lord Robert and Sir Louis Mallet. In fact I can't tell you how kind they all are. I would love above everything to come motoring with you, but it depends on how busy I am seeing French people. If I can keep a day or two clear, of course I'll come and in any case I'll manage to come to Boulogne and see you for an hour or two there. Let me know when you arrive and I'll try and meet the boat, but also appoint a meeting place in case by any chance I should miss the arrival of the boat. I hope you'll think I'm right to stay - I don't think I can do anything else. My dear love to all my family. Gertrude

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