"Neither highbrows nor lowbrows nor midbrows, but elastic-brows.” — George Orwell
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A gamine beauty with a fearless personality.


She loved waking up, quite alone, in a strange town.

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She scaled mountains wearing forbidden trousers.

Isabella Bird in TibetIsabella Bird in Tibet

She developed a pathological aversion to her native England.


An astute proto-ethnologist attired in full Victorian garb.

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“Ice does eerie things,” she said.

From left: Winston Churchill, Gertrude Bell, T.E. LawrenceFrom left: Winston Churchill, Gertrude Bell, T.E. Lawrence

She was as complicated as the country she helped to found.


The two things she loved most: her husband and an exploding volcano.


“A woman whose life’s poetry never sank to prose.”

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She married adventure, but made it her own.


“I am the sun, the star, the earl, the lion, the light from heaven and the Queen.”

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The aviatrix who taught Amelia Earhart how to fly.


A tattooed, cigar-chomping, cross-dressing, knife-collecting speed demon.