T. E. Lawrence
Overview
Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant colonel is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies and most marine forces and some air forces of the world, typically ranking above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence...

 Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO
Distinguished Service Order
The Distinguished Service Order is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the British Commonwealth and Empire, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat.Instituted on 6 September...

 (16 August 1888 – 19 May 1935), known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt
Arab Revolt
The Arab Revolt was initiated by the Sherif Hussein bin Ali with the aim of securing independence from the ruling Ottoman Turks and creating a single unified Arab state spanning from Aleppo in Syria to Aden in Yemen.- Background :...

 against Ottoman Turkish
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 rule of 1916–18. The extraordinary breadth and variety of his activities and associations, and his ability to describe them vividly in writing, earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia, a title which was used for the 1962 film based on his World War I activities
Lawrence of Arabia (film)
Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 British film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. It was directed by David Lean and produced by Sam Spiegel through his British company, Horizon Pictures, with the screenplay by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson. The film stars Peter O'Toole in the title role. It is widely...

.

Lawrence was born illegitimately
Legitimacy (law)
At common law, legitimacy is the status of a child who is born to parents who are legally married to one another; and of a child who is born shortly after the parents' divorce. In canon and in civil law, the offspring of putative marriages have been considered legitimate children...

 in Tremadog
Tremadog
Tremadog is a village on the outskirts of Porthmadog, in Gwynedd, north west Wales. It was a planned settlement, founded by William Madocks, who bought the land in 1798...

, Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, in August 1888 to Sir Thomas Chapman and Sarah Junner, a governess who was herself illegitimate.
Quotations

This death’s livery which walled its bearers from ordinary life was sign that they have sold their wills and bodies to the State: and contracted themselves into a service not the less abject for that its beginning was voluntary.

The Revolt in the Desert (1927) Ch. 35

All the revision in the world will not save a bad first draft: for the architecture of the thing comes, or fails to come, in the first conception, and revision only affects the detail and ornament, alas!

Letter to Bruce Rogers (20 August 1931)

To have news value is to have a tin can tied to one’s tail.

Letter (1 April 1935); published in The Letters of T.E. Lawrence (1988), edited by Malcolm Brown.

You wonder what I am doing? Well, so do I, in truth. Days seem to dawn, suns to shine, evenings to follow, and then I sleep. What I have done, what I am doing, what I am going to do, puzzle and bewilder me. Have you ever been a leaf and fallen from your tree in autumn and been really puzzled about it? That's the feeling.

Letter to Eric Kennington (6 May 1935)

An opinion can be argued with; a conviction is best shot. The logical end of a war of creeds is the final destruction of one, and Salammbo is the classical text-book instance.

Encyclopedia
Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant colonel is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies and most marine forces and some air forces of the world, typically ranking above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence...

 Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO
Distinguished Service Order
The Distinguished Service Order is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the British Commonwealth and Empire, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat.Instituted on 6 September...

 (16 August 1888 – 19 May 1935), known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt
Arab Revolt
The Arab Revolt was initiated by the Sherif Hussein bin Ali with the aim of securing independence from the ruling Ottoman Turks and creating a single unified Arab state spanning from Aleppo in Syria to Aden in Yemen.- Background :...

 against Ottoman Turkish
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 rule of 1916–18. The extraordinary breadth and variety of his activities and associations, and his ability to describe them vividly in writing, earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia, a title which was used for the 1962 film based on his World War I activities
Lawrence of Arabia (film)
Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 British film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. It was directed by David Lean and produced by Sam Spiegel through his British company, Horizon Pictures, with the screenplay by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson. The film stars Peter O'Toole in the title role. It is widely...

.

Lawrence was born illegitimately
Legitimacy (law)
At common law, legitimacy is the status of a child who is born to parents who are legally married to one another; and of a child who is born shortly after the parents' divorce. In canon and in civil law, the offspring of putative marriages have been considered legitimate children...

 in Tremadog
Tremadog
Tremadog is a village on the outskirts of Porthmadog, in Gwynedd, north west Wales. It was a planned settlement, founded by William Madocks, who bought the land in 1798...

, Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, in August 1888 to Sir Thomas Chapman and Sarah Junner, a governess who was herself illegitimate. Chapman had left his wife and first family in Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 to live with Sarah Junner, and they called themselves Mr and Mrs Lawrence. In the summer of 1896 the Lawrences moved to Oxford, where in 1907–10 young Lawrence studied history at Jesus College
Jesus College, Oxford
Jesus College is one of the colleges of the University of Oxford in England. It is in the centre of the city, on a site between Turl Street, Ship Street, Cornmarket Street and Market Street...

, graduating with First Class Honours. He became a practicing archaeologist in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, working at various excavations with David George Hogarth
David George Hogarth
David George Hogarth was a British archaeologist and scholar associated with T. E. Lawrence and Arthur Evans.-Archaeological career:...

 and Leonard Woolley
Leonard Woolley
Sir Charles Leonard Woolley was a British archaeologist best known for his excavations at Ur in Mesopotamia...

. In 1908 he joined the OUOTC (Oxford University Officer Training Corps), undergoing a two-year training course. In January 1914, before the outbreak of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Lawrence was co-opted by the British military to undertake a military survey of the Negev Desert while doing archaeological research.

Lawrence's public image was due in part to American journalist Lowell Thomas
Lowell Thomas
Lowell Jackson Thomas was an American writer, broadcaster, and traveler, best known as the man who made Lawrence of Arabia famous...

' sensationalised reportage of the revolt as well as to Lawrence's autobiographical account, Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Seven Pillars of Wisdom is the autobiographical account of the experiences of British soldier T. E. Lawrence , while serving as a liaison officer with rebel forces during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turks of 1916 to 1918....

(1922).

Early life

Lawrence was born on 16 August 1888 in Tremadog
Tremadog
Tremadog is a village on the outskirts of Porthmadog, in Gwynedd, north west Wales. It was a planned settlement, founded by William Madocks, who bought the land in 1798...

, Caernarfonshire
Caernarfonshire
Caernarfonshire , historically spelled as Caernarvonshire or Carnarvonshire in English during its existence, was one of the thirteen historic counties, a vice-county and a former administrative county of Wales....

 (now Gwynedd
Gwynedd
Gwynedd is a county in north-west Wales, named after the old Kingdom of Gwynedd. Although the second biggest in terms of geographical area, it is also one of the most sparsely populated...

), Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, in a house named Gorphwysfa, now known as Snowdon Lodge. His Anglo-Irish
Anglo-Irish
Anglo-Irish was a term used primarily in the 19th and early 20th centuries to identify a privileged social class in Ireland, whose members were the descendants and successors of the Protestant Ascendancy, mostly belonging to the Church of Ireland, which was the established church of Ireland until...

 father, Thomas Robert Tighe Chapman
Sir Thomas Chapman, 7th Baronet
Sir Thomas Robert Tighe Chapman, 7th Baronet was an Anglo-Irish landowner, the last of the Chapman Baronets of Killua Castle in Ireland. For many years he lived under the name of Thomas Robert Lawrence, taking the name of his partner, Sarah Lawrence, the mother of his five sons, one of whom was T. E...

, who in 1914 inherited the title of seventh Baronet
Baronet
A baronet or the rare female equivalent, a baronetess , is the holder of a hereditary baronetcy awarded by the British Crown...

 of Westmeath in Ireland, had left his wife Edith for his daughters' governess
Governess
A governess is a girl or woman employed to teach and train children in a private household. In contrast to a nanny or a babysitter, she concentrates on teaching children, not on meeting their physical needs...

 Sarah Junner. Junner's mother, Elizabeth Junner, had named as Sarah's father a "John Junner – shipwright journeyman", though she had been living as an unmarried servant in the household of a John Lawrence, ship's carpenter, just four months earlier. The couple did not marry but were known as Mr and Mrs Lawrence.
Thomas Chapman and Sarah Junner had five sons born out of wedlock, of whom Thomas Edward was the second eldest. From Wales the family moved to Kirkcudbright
Kirkcudbright
Kirkcudbright, is a town in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.The town lies south of Castle Douglas and Dalbeattie, in the part of Dumfries and Galloway known as the Stewartry, at the mouth of the River Dee, some six miles from the sea...

 in Dumfries and Galloway
Dumfries and Galloway
Dumfries and Galloway is one of 32 unitary council areas of Scotland. It was one of the nine administrative 'regions' of mainland Scotland created in 1975 by the Local Government etc. Act 1973...

, then Dinard
Dinard
Dinard is a commune in the Ille-et-Vilaine department in Brittany in north-western France.Dinard is on the Côte d'Émeraude of Brittany. Its beaches and mild climate make it a popular holiday destination, and this has resulted in the town having a variety of famous visitors and residents...

 in Brittany
Brittany
Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

, then to Jersey
Jersey
Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, France. As well as the island of Jersey itself, the bailiwick includes two groups of small islands that are no longer permanently inhabited, the Minquiers and Écréhous, and the Pierres de Lecq and...

. From 1894–96 the family lived at Langley Lodge (now demolished), set in private woods between the eastern borders of the New Forest and Southampton Water in Hampshire. Mr Lawrence sailed and took the boys to watch yacht racing in the Solent off Lepe beach. By the time they left, the eight-year-old Ned (as Lawrence became known) had developed a taste for the countryside and outdoor activities.

In the summer of 1896 the Lawrences moved to 2 Polstead Road
Polstead Road
Polstead Road is a residential road that runs between Kingston Road and Hayfield Road to the west and the Woodstock Road to the east, in the suburb of North Oxford, England. Half way along it forms the southern junction of Chalfont Road...

 (now marked with a blue plaque
Blue plaque
A blue plaque is a permanent sign installed in a public place to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person or event, serving as a historical marker....

) in Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

, where, until 1921, they lived under the names of Mr and Mrs Lawrence. Lawrence attended the City of Oxford High School for Boys
City of Oxford High School for Boys
The City of Oxford High School for Boys was founded in 1881 by Thomas Hill Green to provide Oxford boys with an education which would enable them to prepare for University.-History:...

, where one of the four houses
House system
The house system is a traditional feature of British schools, and schools in the Commonwealth. Historically, it was associated with established public schools, where a 'house' refers to a boarding house or dormitory of a boarding school...

 was later named "Lawrence" in his honour; the school closed in 1966. As a schoolboy, one of his favourite pastimes was to cycle to country churches and make brass rubbing
Brass rubbing
Brass rubbing was originally a largely British enthusiasm for reproducing onto paper monumental brasses – commemorative brass plaques found in churches, usually originally on the floor, from between the 13th and 16th centuries. The concept of recording textures of things is more generally called...

s. Lawrence and one of his brothers became commissioned officers in the Church Lads' Brigade
Church Lads' and Church Girls' Brigade
The Church Lads' and Church Girls' Brigade is a Church of England youth organisation with branches in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Barbados, Bermuda, Kenya, South Africa, Newfoundland and St Helena...

 at St Aldate's Church.

Lawrence claimed that in about 1905, he ran away from home and served for a few weeks as a boy soldier with the Royal Garrison Artillery
Royal Garrison Artillery
The Royal Garrison Artillery was an arm of the Royal Artillery that was originally tasked with manning the guns of the British Empire's forts and fortresses, including coastal artillery batteries, the heavy gun batteries attached to each infantry division, and the guns of the siege...

 at St Mawes Castle
St Mawes
St Mawes is a small town opposite Falmouth, on the Roseland Peninsula on the south coast of Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It lies on the east bank of the Carrick Roads, a large waterway created after the Ice Age from an ancient valley which flooded as the melt waters caused the sea level to...

 in Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, from which he was bought out. No evidence of this can be found in army records.

Middle East archaeology

From 1907 to 1910 Lawrence studied history at Jesus College, Oxford
Jesus College, Oxford
Jesus College is one of the colleges of the University of Oxford in England. It is in the centre of the city, on a site between Turl Street, Ship Street, Cornmarket Street and Market Street...

. During the summers of 1907 and 1908, he toured France by bicycle, collecting photographs, drawings and measurements of castle
Castle
A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble...

s dating from the mediaeval period. In the summer of 1909, he set out alone on a three-month walking tour of crusader
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

 castles in Ottoman Syria
Ottoman Syria
Ottoman Syria is a European reference to the area that during European Renaissance from the late 15th to early 18th century was called the Levant within the early period of the Ottoman Empire, the Orient until the early 19th century, and Greater Syria until 1918...

, during which he travelled 1000 mi (1,609.3 km) on foot. Lawrence graduated with First Class Honours after submitting a thesis entitled The influence of the Crusades on European Military Architecture – to the end of the 12th century based on his own field research in France, notably in Châlus
Châlus
Châlus is a commune in the Haute-Vienne department in the Limousin region in western France.-History:Châlus' is where Richard I of England was wounded by a crossbow bolt and killed as a result of the wound...

, and the Middle East.

On completing his degree in 1910, Lawrence commenced postgraduate research in mediaeval pottery with a Senior Demy
Demyship
A demyship is a form of scholarship, specifically at Magdalen College, Oxford. Oscar Wilde, Lewis Gielgud, Lord Denning andT. E. Lawrence were famous recipients. It is derived from demi-socii or half-fellows. Magdalen's founder, William of Waynflete, originally provided them for the College...

, a form of scholarship
Scholarship
A scholarship is an award of financial aid for a student to further education. Scholarships are awarded on various criteria usually reflecting the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award.-Types:...

, at Magdalen College, Oxford
Magdalen College, Oxford
Magdalen College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. As of 2006 the college had an estimated financial endowment of £153 million. Magdalen is currently top of the Norrington Table after over half of its 2010 finalists received first-class degrees, a record...

, which he abandoned after he was offered the opportunity to become a practising archaeologist in the Middle East. Lawrence was a polyglot
Polyglot (person)
A polyglot is someone with a high degree of proficiency in several languages. A bilingual person can speak two languages fluently, whereas a trilingual three; above that the term multilingual may be used.-Hyperpolyglot:...

 whose published work demonstrates competence in French, Ancient Greek, and Arabic.
In December 1910 he sailed for Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

, and on arrival went to Jbail (Byblos
Byblos
Byblos is the Greek name of the Phoenician city Gebal . It is a Mediterranean city in the Mount Lebanon Governorate of present-day Lebanon under the current Arabic name of Jubayl and was also referred to as Gibelet during the Crusades...

), where he studied Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

. He then went to work on the excavations at Carchemish
Carchemish
Carchemish or Kargamış was an important ancient city of the Mitanni, Hittite and Neo Assyrian Empires, now on the frontier between Turkey and Syria. It was the location of an important battle between the Babylonians and Egyptians, mentioned in the Bible...

, near Jerablus in northern Syria, where he worked under D. G. Hogarth
David George Hogarth
David George Hogarth was a British archaeologist and scholar associated with T. E. Lawrence and Arthur Evans.-Archaeological career:...

 and R. Campbell-Thompson of the British Museum
British Museum
The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...

. He would later state that everything that he had accomplished, he owed to Hogarth. As the site lay near an important crossing on the Baghdad Railway
Baghdad Railway
The Baghdad Railway , was built from 1903 to 1940 to connect Berlin with the Ottoman Empire city of Baghdad with a line through modern-day Turkey, Syria, and Iraq....

, knowledge gathered there was of considerable importance to the military. While excavating ancient Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

n sites, Lawrence met Gertrude Bell
Gertrude Bell
Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell, CBE was an English writer, traveller, political officer, administrator, and archaeologist who explored, mapped, and became highly influential to British imperial policy-making due to her extensive travels in Greater Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and Arabia. Along...

, who was to influence him during his time in the Middle East.

In late 1911, Lawrence returned to England for a brief sojourn. By November he was en route to Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

 for a second season at Carchemish
Carchemish
Carchemish or Kargamış was an important ancient city of the Mitanni, Hittite and Neo Assyrian Empires, now on the frontier between Turkey and Syria. It was the location of an important battle between the Babylonians and Egyptians, mentioned in the Bible...

, where he was to work with Leonard Woolley
Leonard Woolley
Sir Charles Leonard Woolley was a British archaeologist best known for his excavations at Ur in Mesopotamia...

. Prior to resuming work there, however, he briefly worked with Flinders Petrie at Kafr Ammar
Tarkhan (Egypt)
Tarkhan is the modern name for an Ancient Egyptian cemetery, located about 50 km south of Cairo on the West bank of the Nile.The cemetery was excavated in two seasons by Flinders Petrie. Tombs of almost all periods were found, but most importantly many belonging to the time of Egyptian state...

 in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

.

Lawrence continued making trips to the Middle East as a field archaeologist until the outbreak of the First World War. In January 1914, Woolley and Lawrence were co-opted by the British military as an archaeological smokescreen for a British military survey of the Negev Desert
Negev
The Negev is a desert and semidesert region of southern Israel. The Arabs, including the native Bedouin population of the region, refer to the desert as al-Naqab. The origin of the word Neghebh is from the Hebrew root denoting 'dry'...

. They were funded by the Palestine Exploration Fund
Palestine Exploration Fund
The Palestine Exploration Fund is a British society often simply known as the PEF. It was founded in 1865 and is still functioning today. Its initial object was to carry out surveys of the topography and ethnography of Ottoman Palestine with a remit that fell somewhere between an expeditionary...

 to search for an area referred to in the Bible as the "Wilderness of Zin
Zin Desert
thumb|250px|The Wilderness is in the southThe Wilderness of Zin/Desert of Zin is a geographic area mentioned by the Torah as containing Kadesh-Barnea within it; and it is therefore also referred to as the "Wilderness of Kadesh"...

"; along the way, they undertook an archaeological survey of the Negev Desert. The Negev was of strategic importance, as it would have to be crossed by any Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 army attacking Egypt in the event of war. Woolley and Lawrence subsequently published a report of the expedition's archaeological findings, but a more important result was an updated mapping of the area, with special attention to features of military relevance such as water sources. Lawrence also visited Aqaba
Aqaba
Aqaba is a coastal city in the far south of Jordan, the capital of Aqaba Governorate at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba is strategically important to Jordan as it is the country's only seaport. Aqaba is best known today as a diving and beach resort, but industrial activity remains important...

 and Petra
Petra
Petra is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its rock cut architecture and water conduits system. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited...

.

From March to May 1914, Lawrence worked again at Carchemish
Carchemish
Carchemish or Kargamış was an important ancient city of the Mitanni, Hittite and Neo Assyrian Empires, now on the frontier between Turkey and Syria. It was the location of an important battle between the Babylonians and Egyptians, mentioned in the Bible...

. Following the outbreak of hostilities in August 1914, Lawrence did not immediately enlist in the British Army; on the advice of S.F. Newcombe he held back until October, when he was commissioned on the General List.

Arab revolt


At the outbreak of the First World War Lawrence was a university post-graduate researcher who had for years travelled extensively within the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 provinces of the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

 (Transjordan
Transjordan
The Emirate of Transjordan was a former Ottoman territory in the Southern Levant that was part of the British Mandate of Palestine...

 and Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

) and Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 (Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

) under his own name. As such he became known to the Turkish Interior Ministry authorities and their German technical advisors. Lawrence came into contact with the Ottoman–German technical advisers, travelling over the German-designed, -built, and -financed railways during the course of his researches.

Even if Lawrence had not volunteered, the British would probably have recruited him for his first-hand knowledge of Syria, the Levant, and Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

. He was eventually posted to Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

 on the Intelligence Staff of the GOC
General Officer Commanding
General Officer Commanding is the usual title given in the armies of Commonwealth nations to a general officer who holds a command appointment. Thus, a general might be the GOC II Corps or GOC 7th Armoured Division...

 Middle East.

Contrary to later myth, it was neither Lawrence nor the Army that conceived a campaign of internal insurgency against the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East, but rather the Arab Bureau
Arab Bureau
The Arab Bureau was a section of the Cairo Intelligence Department during the First World War. According to a Committee of Imperial Defence paper from January 7, 1916 the Arab Bureau was established to "harmonise British political activity in the Near East...[and] keep the Foreign Office, the India...

 of Britain's Foreign Office. The Arab Bureau had long felt it likely that a campaign instigated and financed by outside powers, supporting the breakaway-minded tribes and regional challengers to the Turkish government's centralised rule of their empire, would pay great dividends in the diversion of effort that would be needed to meet such a challenge. The Arab Bureau had recognised the strategic value of what is today called the "asymmetry" of such conflict. The Ottoman authorities would have to devote from a hundred to a thousand times the resources to contain the threat of such an internal rebellion compared to the Allies' cost of sponsoring it.

At that point in the Foreign Office's thinking they were not considering the region as candidate territories for incorporation in the British Empire, but only as an extension of the range of British Imperial influence, and the weakening and destruction of a German ally, the Ottoman Empire.

During the war, Lawrence fought with Arab irregular troops
Irregular military
Irregular military refers to any non-standard military. Being defined by exclusion, there is significant variance in what comes under the term. It can refer to the type of military organization, or to the type of tactics used....

 under the command of Emir Faisal
Faisal I of Iraq
Faisal bin Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi, was for a short time King of the Arab Kingdom of Syria or Greater Syria in 1920, and was King of the Kingdom of Iraq from 23 August 1921 to 1933...

, a son of Sherif Hussein
Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca
Sayyid Hussein bin Ali, GCB was the Sharif of Mecca, and Emir of Mecca from 1908 until 1917, when he proclaimed himself King of Hejaz, which received international recognition. He initiated the Arab Revolt in 1916 against the increasingly nationalistic Ottoman Empire during the course of the...

 of Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

, in extended guerrilla
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 operations against the armed forces of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. He persuaded the Arabs not to make a frontal assault on the Ottoman stronghold in Medina
Medina
Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...

 but allowed the Turkish army to tie up troops in the city garrison. The Arabs were then free to direct most of their attention to the Turks' weak point, the Hejaz railway that supplied the garrison. This vastly expanded the battlefield and tied up even more Ottoman troops, who were then forced to protect the railway and repair the constant damage.

Capture of Aqaba


In 1917, Lawrence arranged a joint action with the Arab irregulars and forces under Auda Abu Tayi (until then in the employ of the Ottomans) against the strategically located but lightly defended town of Aqaba
Aqaba
Aqaba is a coastal city in the far south of Jordan, the capital of Aqaba Governorate at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba is strategically important to Jordan as it is the country's only seaport. Aqaba is best known today as a diving and beach resort, but industrial activity remains important...

. On 6 July, after a surprise overland attack, Aqaba fell to Lawrence and the Arab forces. After Aqaba, Lawrence was promoted to major. Fortunately for Lawrence, the new commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force
Egyptian Expeditionary Force
The Egyptian Expeditionary Force was formed in March 1916 to command the British and British Empire military forces in Egypt during World War I. Originally known as the 'Force in Egypt' it had been commanded by General Maxwell who was recalled to England...

, General Sir Edmund Allenby
Edmund Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby
Field Marshal Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby GCB, GCMG, GCVO was a British soldier and administrator most famous for his role during the First World War, in which he led the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in the conquest of Palestine and Syria in 1917 and 1918.Allenby, nicknamed...

, agreed to his strategy for the revolt, stating after the war:

"I gave him a free hand. His cooperation was marked by the utmost loyalty, and I never had anything but praise for his work, which, indeed, was invaluable throughout the campaign."


Lawrence now held a powerful position, as an adviser to Faisal and a person who had Allenby's confidence.

Fall of Damascus

The following year, Lawrence was involved in the build up to the capture of Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 in the final weeks of the war. Much to his disappointment, and contrary to instructions he had issued, he was not present at the city's formal surrender, arriving several hours after the city had fallen. Lawrence entered Damascus around 9am on 1 October 1918, but was only the third arrival of the day, the first being the 10th Australian Light Horse Brigade, led by Major A.C.N. 'Harry' Olden who formally accepted the surrender of the city from acting Governor Emir Said. Despite his absence for the formal surrender, he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel in late 1918 for the role he had played in the capture of Damascus. Lawrence was reportedly embittered by having been beaten into the city by the Australians, and resented them for it later in his life. In his own recollections of the capture of Damascus he completely omitted the key role played by the Australians, and this error was widely believed and later repeated by many historians.

In newly liberated Damascus—which he had envisaged as the capital of an Arab state—Lawrence was instrumental in establishing a provisional Arab government under Faisal. Faisal's rule as king, however, came to an abrupt end in 1920, after the battle of Maysaloun, when the French Forces of General Gouraud under the command of General Mariano Goybet
Mariano Goybet
Mariano Francisco Julio Goybet was a French Army general that held several senior commands in World War I.-An old Savoy family:...

, entered Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, breaking Lawrence's dream of an independent Arabia.

As was his habit when travelling before the war, Lawrence adopted many local customs and traditions (many photographs show him in the desert wearing white Arab dishdasha and riding camel
Camel
A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as humps on its back. There are two species of camels: the dromedary or Arabian camel has a single hump, and the bactrian has two humps. Dromedaries are native to the dry desert areas of West Asia,...

s).

During the closing years of the war he sought, with mixed success, to convince his superiors in the British government that Arab independence was in their interests. The secret Sykes-Picot Agreement
Sykes-Picot Agreement
The Sykes–Picot Agreement of 1916 was a secret agreement between the governments of the United Kingdom and France, with the assent of Imperial Russia, defining their respective spheres of influence and control in Western Asia after the expected downfall of the Ottoman Empire during World War I...

 between France and Britain contradicted the promises of independence he had made to the Arabs and frustrated his work.

In 1918 he co-operated with war correspondent
War correspondent
A war correspondent is a journalist who covers stories firsthand from a war zone. In the 19th century they were also called Special Correspondents.-Methods:...

 Lowell Thomas
Lowell Thomas
Lowell Jackson Thomas was an American writer, broadcaster, and traveler, best known as the man who made Lawrence of Arabia famous...

 for a short period. During this time Thomas and his cameraman Harry Chase shot a great deal of film and many photographs, which Thomas used in a highly lucrative film that toured the world after the war.

Postwar years

Immediately after the war, Lawrence worked for the Foreign Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, commonly called the Foreign Office or the FCO is a British government department responsible for promoting the interests of the United Kingdom overseas, created in 1968 by merging the Foreign Office and the Commonwealth Office.The head of the FCO is the...

, attending the Paris Peace Conference
Paris Peace Conference, 1919
The Paris Peace Conference was the meeting of the Allied victors following the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers following the armistices of 1918. It took place in Paris in 1919 and involved diplomats from more than 32 countries and nationalities...

 between January and May as a member of Faisal's delegation. He served for much of 1921 as an advisor to Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 at the Colonial Office
Secretary of State for the Colonies
The Secretary of State for the Colonies or Colonial Secretary was the British Cabinet minister in charge of managing the United Kingdom's various colonial dependencies....

.

In August 1919, the American journalist Lowell Thomas
Lowell Thomas
Lowell Jackson Thomas was an American writer, broadcaster, and traveler, best known as the man who made Lawrence of Arabia famous...

 launched a colorful photo show in London entitled With Allenby in Palestine which included a lecture, dancing, and music. Initially, Lawrence played only a supporting role in the show, but when Thomas realized that it was the photos of Lawrence dressed as a Bedouin that had captured the public's imagination, he shot some more photos in London of him in Arab dress. With the new photos, Thomas re-launched his show as With Allenby in Palestine and Lawrence in Arabia in early 1920; it was extremely popular. Thomas' shows made Lawrence, who until then been rather obscure, into a household name.

In August 1922, Lawrence enlisted in the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 as an aircraftman
Aircraftman
Aircraftman , or Aircraftwoman , is the lowest rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of several other Commonwealth countries....

 under the name John Hume Ross, at RAF Uxbridge
RAF Uxbridge
RAF Uxbridge was a Royal Air Force station in Uxbridge within the London Borough of Hillingdon. Its grounds covered originally belonging to the Hillingdon House estate, which was purchased by the British Government in 1915, three years before the founding of the RAF...

. He was soon exposed and, in February 1923, was forced out of the RAF. He changed his name to T. E. Shaw and joined the Royal Tank Corps in 1923. He was unhappy there and repeatedly petitioned to rejoin the RAF, which finally readmitted him in August 1925. A fresh burst of publicity after the publication of Revolt in the Desert (see below) resulted in his assignment to a remote base in British India
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 in late 1926, where he remained until the end of 1928. At that time he was forced to return to Britain after rumours began to circulate that he was involved in espionage activities.
He purchased several small plots of land in Chingford
Chingford
Chingford is a district of north east London, bordering on Enfield and Edmonton to the west, Woodford to the east, Walthamstow and Stratford to the south and Essex to the north. It is situated northeast of Charing Cross and forms part of the London Borough of Waltham Forest...

, built a hut and swimming pool there, and visited frequently. This was removed in 1930 when the Chingford Urban District Council
Urban district
In the England, Wales and Ireland, an urban district was a type of local government district that covered an urbanised area. Urban districts had an elected Urban District Council , which shared local government responsibilities with a county council....

 acquired the land and passed it to the City of London Corporation, but re-erected the hut in the grounds of The Warren, Loughton
Loughton
Loughton is a town and civil parish in the Epping Forest district of Essex. It is located between 11 and 13 miles north east of Charing Cross in London, south of the M25 and west of the M11 motorway and has boundaries with Chingford, Waltham Abbey, Theydon Bois, Chigwell and Buckhurst Hill...

, where it remains, neglected, today. Lawrence's tenure of the Chingford land has now been commemorated by a plaque fixed on the sighting obelisk on Pole Hill
Pole Hill
Pole Hill is a geographical feature on the border between Greater London and Essex. From its summit there is an extensive view over much of East, North and West London, although in the summer the leaves of the trees in Epping Forest have a tendency to mask some of the visibility to the North and...

.

He continued serving in the RAF based at Bridlington
Bridlington
Bridlington is a seaside resort, minor sea fishing port and civil parish on the Holderness Coast of the North Sea, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It has a static population of over 33,000, which rises considerably during the tourist season...

, East Riding of Yorkshire
East Riding of Yorkshire
The East Riding of Yorkshire, or simply East Yorkshire, is a local government district with unitary authority status, and a ceremonial county of England. For ceremonial purposes the county also includes the city of Kingston upon Hull, which is a separate unitary authority...

, specialising in high-speed boats and professing happiness, and it was with considerable regret that he left the service at the end of his enlistment in March 1935.

Lawrence was a keen motorcyclist, and, at different times, had owned seven Brough Superior
Brough Superior
Brough Superior motorcycles, sidecars, and motor cars were made by George Brough in his Brough Superior works on Haydn Road in Nottingham, England, from 1919 to 1940. They were dubbed the "Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles" by H. D. Teague of The Motor Cycle newspaper. Approximately 3,048 of 19 models...

 motorcycles. His seventh motorcycle is on display at the Imperial War Museum
Imperial War Museum
Imperial War Museum is a British national museum organisation with branches at five locations in England, three of which are in London. The museum was founded during the First World War in 1917 and intended as a record of the war effort and sacrifice of Britain and her Empire...

. Among the books Lawrence is known to have carried with him on his military campaigns is Thomas Malory
Thomas Malory
Sir Thomas Malory was an English writer, the author or compiler of Le Morte d'Arthur. The antiquary John Leland as well as John Bale believed him to be Welsh, but most modern scholars, beginning with G. L...

's Morte D'Arthur
Le Morte d'Arthur
Le Morte d'Arthur is a compilation by Sir Thomas Malory of Romance tales about the legendary King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, and the Knights of the Round Table...

. Accounts of the 1934 discovery of the Winchester Manuscript of the Morte include a report that Lawrence followed Eugene Vinaver
Eugène Vinaver
Eugène Vinaver was a literary scholar who is best-known today for his edition of the works of Sir Thomas Malory....

—a Malory scholar—by motorcycle from Manchester to Winchester upon reading of the discovery in The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

.; Walter F. Oakeshott, "The Finding of the Manuscript," Essays on Malory, J. A. W. Bennett, ed. [Oxford: Clarendon, 1963]: 1–6)]

Death

At the age of 46, two months after leaving the service, Lawrence was fatally injured in an accident on his Brough Superior SS100
Brough Superior SS100
The Brough Superior SS 100 was designed and built by George Brough in Nottingham, England in 1924. Although every bike was designed to meet specific customer requirements—even the handlebars were individually shaped—sixty-nine SS100s were produced in 1925 and at £170 were advertised by Brough as...

 motorcycle in Dorset
Dorset
Dorset , is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The county town is Dorchester which is situated in the south. The Hampshire towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch joined the county with the reorganisation of local government in 1974...

, close to his cottage, Clouds Hill
Clouds Hill
Clouds Hill is an isolated cottage near Wareham in the county of Dorset in South West England. It is the former home of T. E. Lawrence and is now run as a museum by the National Trust.-History:...

, near Wareham
Wareham, Dorset
Wareham is an historic market town and, under the name Wareham Town, a civil parish, in the English county of Dorset. The town is situated on the River Frome eight miles southwest of Poole.-Situation and geography:...

. A dip in the road obstructed his view of two boys on their bicycles; he swerved to avoid them, lost control and was thrown over the handlebars. He died six days later on 19 May 1935. The spot is marked by a small memorial at the side of the road.

The circumstances of Lawrence's death had far-reaching consequences. One of the doctors attending him was the neurosurgeon Hugh Cairns
Hugh Cairns (surgeon)
Sir Hugh William Bell Cairns was a British neurosurgeon.Hugh Cairns was born in Port Pirie, but came to Adelaide for his secondary education at Adelaide High School and tertiary education at the University of Adelaide...

. He was profoundly affected by the incident, and consequently began a long study of what he saw as the unnecessary loss of life by motorcycle dispatch riders through head injuries. His research led to the use of crash helmets
Motorcycle helmet
A motorcycle helmet is a type of protective headgear used by motorcycle riders. The primary goal of a motorcycle helmet is motorcycle safety - to protect the rider's head during impact, thus preventing or reducing head injury or saving the rider's life...

 by both military and civilian motorcyclists.

Moreton Estate, which borders Bovington Camp
Bovington Camp
Bovington Camp is a British Army base in Dorset, England.It is home to The Armour Centre, formerly the Royal Armoured Corps Centre and includes Allenby Barracks and Stanley Barracks. Bovington Tank Museum is adjoining....

, was owned by family cousins, the Frampton family. Lawrence had rented and later bought Clouds Hill
Clouds Hill
Clouds Hill is an isolated cottage near Wareham in the county of Dorset in South West England. It is the former home of T. E. Lawrence and is now run as a museum by the National Trust.-History:...

 from the Framptons. He had been a frequent visitor to their home, Okers Wood House, and had for years corresponded with Louisa Frampton. On Lawrence's death, his mother arranged with the Framptons for him to be buried in their family plot at Moreton
Moreton, Dorset
Moreton is a village in Dorset, England, situated on the River Frome eight miles east of Dorchester. The village has a population of 270 . It has a number of long distance foot paths and cycle ways passing through it: the Purbeck cycle way, Route 2 , the Frome valley trail, the Jubilee trail, and...

 Church. His coffin was transported on the Frampton estate's bier
Bier
A bier is a stand on which a corpse, coffin or casket containing a corpse, is placed to lie in state or to be carried to the grave.In Christian burial, the bier is often placed in the centre of the nave with candles surrounding it, and remains in place during the funeral.The bier is a flat frame,...

. Mourners included Winston
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 and Clementine Churchill and Lawrence's youngest brother, Arnold
A.W. Lawrence
Arnold Walter Lawrence was a British authority on classical sculpture and architecture. He was Laurence Professor of Classical Archaeology at Cambridge University in the 1940s, and in the early 1950s in Accra he founded what later became the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board as well as the...

.

A bust of Lawrence was placed in the crypt
Crypt
In architecture, a crypt is a stone chamber or vault beneath the floor of a burial vault possibly containing sarcophagi, coffins or relics....

 at St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...

 and a stone effigy by Eric Kennington
Eric Kennington
Eric Henri Kennington RA was an English Sculptor, artist and illustrator, and an official war artist in both World Wars.-Early life:...

 remains in the Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon architecture
Anglo-Saxon architecture was a period in the history of architecture in England, and parts of Wales, from the mid-5th century until the Norman Conquest of 1066. Anglo-Saxon secular buildings in Britain were generally simple, constructed mainly using timber with thatch for roofing...

 church of St Martin, Wareham
St Martin's Church, Wareham
St Martin's Church, Wareham is a Saxon church in the town of Wareham, Dorset in England. It is the most complete example of a Saxon church in Dorset.-History and features:...

.

Writings

Throughout his life, Lawrence was a prolific writer. A large portion of his output was epistolary; he often sent several letters a day. Several collections of his letters have been published. He corresponded with many notable figures, including George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60...

, Edward Elgar
Edward Elgar
Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet OM, GCVO was an English composer, many of whose works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire. Among his best-known compositions are orchestral works including the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos...

, Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

, Robert Graves
Robert Graves
Robert von Ranke Graves 24 July 1895 – 7 December 1985 was an English poet, translator and novelist. During his long life he produced more than 140 works...

, Noël Coward
Noël Coward
Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".Born in Teddington, a suburb of London, Coward attended a dance academy...

, E. M. Forster
E. M. Forster
Edward Morgan Forster OM, CH was an English novelist, short story writer, essayist and librettist. He is known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society...

, Siegfried Sassoon
Siegfried Sassoon
Siegfried Loraine Sassoon CBE MC was an English poet, author and soldier. Decorated for bravery on the Western Front, he became one of the leading poets of the First World War. His poetry both described the horrors of the trenches, and satirised the patriotic pretensions of those who, in Sassoon's...

, John Buchan
John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir
John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir was a Scottish novelist, historian and Unionist politician who served as Governor General of Canada, the 15th since Canadian Confederation....

, Augustus John
Augustus John
Augustus Edwin John OM, RA, was a Welsh painter, draughtsman, and etcher. For a short time around 1910, he was an important exponent of Post-Impressionism in the United Kingdom....

 and Henry Williamson
Henry Williamson
Henry William Williamson was an English naturalist, farmer and prolific author known for his natural and social history novels. He won the Hawthornden Prize for literature in 1928 with his book Tarka the Otter....

. He met Joseph Conrad
Joseph Conrad
Joseph Conrad was a Polish-born English novelist.Conrad is regarded as one of the great novelists in English, although he did not speak the language fluently until he was in his twenties...

 and commented perceptively on his works. The many letters that he sent to Shaw's wife, Charlotte
Charlotte Payne-Townshend
Charlotte Payne-Townshend was a British political activist. She was a member of the Fabian Society and was dedicated to the struggle for women's rights....

, offer a revealing side of his character.

In his lifetime, Lawrence published four major texts. Two were translation
Translation
Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. Whereas interpreting undoubtedly antedates writing, translation began only after the appearance of written literature; there exist partial translations of the Sumerian Epic of...

s: Homer
Homer
In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

's Odyssey
Odyssey
The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the modern Western canon, and is the second—the Iliad being the first—extant work of Western literature...

, and The Forest Giant — the latter an otherwise forgotten work of French fiction
Fiction
Fiction is the form of any narrative or informative work that deals, in part or in whole, with information or events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary—that is, invented by the author. Although fiction describes a major branch of literary work, it may also refer to theatrical,...

. He received a flat fee for the second translation, and negotiated a generous fee plus royalties
Royalties
Royalties are usage-based payments made by one party to another for the right to ongoing use of an asset, sometimes an intellectual property...

 for the first.

Seven Pillars of Wisdom

Lawrence's major work is Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Seven Pillars of Wisdom is the autobiographical account of the experiences of British soldier T. E. Lawrence , while serving as a liaison officer with rebel forces during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turks of 1916 to 1918....

, an account of his war experiences. In 1919 he had been elected to a seven-year research fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford
All Souls College, Oxford
The Warden and the College of the Souls of all Faithful People deceased in the University of Oxford or All Souls College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England....

, providing him with support while he worked on the book. In addition to being a memoir of his experiences during the war, certain parts also serve as essays on military strategy
Military strategy
Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organizations to pursue desired strategic goals. Derived from the Greek strategos, strategy when it appeared in use during the 18th century, was seen in its narrow sense as the "art of the general", 'the art of arrangement' of troops...

, Arabian culture and geography
Geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

, and other topics. Lawrence re-wrote Seven Pillars of Wisdom three times; once "blind" after he lost the manuscript
Manuscript
A manuscript or handwrite is written information that has been manually created by someone or some people, such as a hand-written letter, as opposed to being printed or reproduced some other way...

 while changing trains at Reading railway station
Reading railway station
Reading railway station is a major rail transport hub in the English town of Reading. It is situated on the northern edge of the town centre, close to the main retail and commercial areas, and also the River Thames...

.

The list of his alleged "embellishments" in Seven Pillars is long, though many such allegations have been disproved with time, most definitively in Jeremy Wilson
Jeremy Wilson
Jeremy M. Wilson is a contemporary British historian, biographer, writer, editor, and fine-press publisher. He is also a business copywriter and editor working for major corporations....

's authorised biography. However Lawrence's own notebooks refute his claim to have crossed the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai is a triangular peninsula in Egypt about in area. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south, and is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia as opposed to Africa, effectively serving as a land bridge between two...

 from Aqaba
Aqaba
Aqaba is a coastal city in the far south of Jordan, the capital of Aqaba Governorate at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba is strategically important to Jordan as it is the country's only seaport. Aqaba is best known today as a diving and beach resort, but industrial activity remains important...

 to the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

 in just 49 hours without any sleep. In reality this famous camel ride lasted for more than 70 hours and was interrupted by two long breaks for sleeping which Lawrence omitted when he wrote his book.

Lawrence acknowledged having been helped in the editing of the book by George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60...

. In the preface to Seven Pillars, Lawrence offered his "thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Shaw for countless suggestions of great value and diversity: and for all the present semicolon
Semicolon
The semicolon is a punctuation mark with several uses. The Italian printer Aldus Manutius the Elder established the practice of using the semicolon to separate words of opposed meaning and to indicate interdependent statements. "The first printed semicolon was the work of ... Aldus Manutius"...

s."

The first public edition was published in 1926 as a high-priced private subscription edition, printed in London by Roy Manning Pike and Herbert John Hodgson
Herbert John Hodgson
Herbert John Hodgson is regarded as one of the most skilled printers of the twentieth century. After serving in the First World War, with Roy Manning Pike he printed the rare 1926 subscribers' edition of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence...

, with illustrations by Eric Kennington
Eric Kennington
Eric Henri Kennington RA was an English Sculptor, artist and illustrator, and an official war artist in both World Wars.-Early life:...

, Augustus John
Augustus John
Augustus Edwin John OM, RA, was a Welsh painter, draughtsman, and etcher. For a short time around 1910, he was an important exponent of Post-Impressionism in the United Kingdom....

, Paul Nash
Paul Nash (artist)
Paul Nash was a British landscape painter, surrealist and war artist, as well as a book-illustrator, writer and designer of applied art. He was the older brother of the artist John Nash.-Early life:...

, Blair Hughes-Stanton and his wife Gertrude Hermes
Gertrude Hermes
Gertrude Hermes, RA OBE was a British wood engraver, print maker and sculptor..She was born in Bickley, Kent.She studied at Leon Underwood School of Painting and Sculpture, from 1921 to 1925.She won the Prix de Rome in 1925....

. Lawrence was afraid that the public would think that he would make a substantial income from the book, and he stated that it was written as a result of his war service. He vowed not to take any money from it, and indeed he did not, as the sale price was one third of the production costs. This left Lawrence in substantial debt.

Revolt in the Desert

Revolt in the Desert was an abridged version of Seven Pillars, which he began in 1926 and was published in March 1927 in both limited and trade editions. He undertook a needed but reluctant publicity exercise, which resulted in a best-seller. Again he vowed not to take any fees from the publication, partly to appease the subscribers to Seven Pillars who had paid dearly for their editions. By the fourth reprint in 1927, the debt from Seven Pillars was paid off. As Lawrence left for military service in India at the end of 1926, he set up the "Seven Pillars Trust" with his friend D. G. Hogarth
David George Hogarth
David George Hogarth was a British archaeologist and scholar associated with T. E. Lawrence and Arthur Evans.-Archaeological career:...

 as a trustee, in which he made over the copyright and any surplus income of Revolt in the Desert. He later told Hogarth that he had "made the Trust final, to save myself the temptation of reviewing it, if Revolt turned out a best seller."

The resultant trust paid off the debt, and Lawrence then invoked a clause in his publishing contract to halt publication of the abridgment in the UK. However, he allowed both American editions and translations, which resulted in a substantial flow of income. The trust paid income either into an educational fund for children of RAF officers who lost their lives or were invalided as a result of service, or more substantially into the RAF Benevolent Fund
RAF Benevolent Fund
The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund is the Royal Air Force's leading welfare charity, providing financial, practical and emotional support to serving and former members of the RAF - regardless of rank - as well as their partners and dependents.They help members of the RAF family deal with a wide...

.

Posthumous

Lawrence left unpublished The Mint
The Mint (book)
The Mint is a book written by T. E. Lawrence, ‘Lawrence of Arabia’.It concerns the period following the First World War when Lawrence decided to disappear from public view. He enlisted in the Royal Air Force under an assumed name and became Aircraftman Ross. The book is a closely observed...

, a memoir of his experiences as an enlisted man in the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

. For this, he worked from a notebook that he kept while enlisted, writing of the daily lives of enlisted men and his desire to be a part of something larger than himself: the Royal Air Force. The book is stylistically very different from Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Seven Pillars of Wisdom is the autobiographical account of the experiences of British soldier T. E. Lawrence , while serving as a liaison officer with rebel forces during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turks of 1916 to 1918....

, using sparse prose as opposed to the complicated syntax found in Seven Pillars. It was published posthumously, edited by his brother, Professor A. W. Lawrence
A.W. Lawrence
Arnold Walter Lawrence was a British authority on classical sculpture and architecture. He was Laurence Professor of Classical Archaeology at Cambridge University in the 1940s, and in the early 1950s in Accra he founded what later became the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board as well as the...

.

After Lawrence's death, A. W. Lawrence inherited all Lawrence's estate and his copyrights as the sole beneficiary. To pay the inheritance tax, he sold the U.S. copyright of Seven Pillars of Wisdom (subscribers' text) outright to Doubleday Doran in 1935. Doubleday still controls publication rights of this version of the text of Seven Pillars of Wisdom in the USA. In 1936 Prof. Lawrence split the remaining assets of the estate, giving Clouds Hill and many copies of less substantial or historical letters to the nation via the National Trust
National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty
The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, usually known as the National Trust, is a conservation organisation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

, and then set up two trusts to control interests in T. E. Lawrence's residual copyrights. To the original Seven Pillars Trust, Prof. Lawrence assigned the copyright in Seven Pillars of Wisdom, as a result of which it was given its first general publication. To the Letters and Symposium Trust, he assigned the copyright in The Mint and all Lawrence's letters, which were subsequently edited and published in the book T. E. Lawrence by his Friends (edited by A. W. Lawrence, London, Jonathan Cape, 1937).

A substantial amount of income went directly to the RAF Benevolent Fund or for archaeological, environmental, or academic projects. The two trusts were amalgamated in 1986 and, on the death of Prof. A. W. Lawrence, the unified trust also acquired all the remaining rights to Lawrence's works that it had not owned, plus rights to all of Prof. Lawrence's works.

Vision of Middle East

A map of the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 that belonged to Lawrence has been put on exhibition at the Imperial War Museum
Imperial War Museum
Imperial War Museum is a British national museum organisation with branches at five locations in England, three of which are in London. The museum was founded during the First World War in 1917 and intended as a record of the war effort and sacrifice of Britain and her Empire...

 in London. It was drafted by him and presented to Britain's War Cabinet in November 1918.

The map provides an alternative to present-day borders in the region, apparently partly designed with the intention to marginalise the post-war role of France in the region by limiting its direct colonial control to today's Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

. It includes a separate state for the Armenians
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

, a separate state of Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

, and groups the people of present-day Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 and parts of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 in another state, based on tribal patterns and commercial
Commerce
While business refers to the value-creating activities of an organization for profit, commerce means the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any...

 routes.

Sexuality

Lawrence's biographers have discussed his sexuality at considerable length, and this discussion has spilled into the popular press.

There is no reliable evidence for consensual sexual intimacy between Lawrence and any person. His friends have expressed the opinion that he was asexual
Asexuality
Asexuality , in its broadest sense, is the lack of sexual attraction and, in some cases, the lack of interest in sex. Sometimes, it is considered a lack of a sexual orientation...

, and Lawrence himself specifically denied, in multiple private letters, any personal experience of sex. While there were suggestions that Lawrence had been intimate with Dahoum, who worked with Lawrence at a pre-war archaeological dig in Carchemish
Carchemish
Carchemish or Kargamış was an important ancient city of the Mitanni, Hittite and Neo Assyrian Empires, now on the frontier between Turkey and Syria. It was the location of an important battle between the Babylonians and Egyptians, mentioned in the Bible...

, and fellow-serviceman R.A.M. Guy, his biographers and contemporaries have found them unconvincing.

The dedication to his book Seven Pillars is a poem entitled "To S.A." which opens:
I loved you, so I drew these tides of men into my hands
and wrote my will across the sky in stars
To earn you Freedom, the seven-pillared worthy house,
that your eyes might be shining for me
When we came.


Lawrence was never specific about the identity of "S.A." There are many theories which argue in favour of individual men, women, and the Arab nation. The most popular is that S.A. represents (at least in part) his companion Selim Ahmed, "Dahoum", who apparently died of typhus
Typhus
Epidemic typhus is a form of typhus so named because the disease often causes epidemics following wars and natural disasters...

 prior to 1918.

Although Lawrence lived in a period during which official opposition to homosexuality was strong, his writing on the subject was tolerant. In Seven Pillars, when discussing relationships between young male fighters in the war, he refers on one occasion to "the openness and honesty of perfect love" and on another to "friends quivering together in the yielding sand with intimate hot limbs in supreme embrace". In a letter to Charlotte Shaw he wrote "I've seen lots of man-and-man loves: very lovely and fortunate some of them were."

In both Seven Pillars and a 1919 letter to a military colleague, Lawrence describes an episode in November 1917 in which, while reconnoitring Dera'a in disguise, he was captured by the Turkish military, heavily beaten, and sexually abused by the local Bey
Bey
Bey is a title for chieftain, traditionally applied to the leaders of small tribal groups. Accoding to some sources, the word "Bey" is of Turkish language In historical accounts, many Turkish, other Turkic and Persian leaders are titled Bey, Beg, Bek, Bay, Baig or Beigh. They are all the same word...

 and his guardsmen. The precise nature of the sexual contact is not specified. Although there is no independent evidence, the multiple consistent reports, and the absence of evidence for outright invention in Lawrence's works, make the account believable to his biographers. At least three of Lawrence's biographers (Malcolm Brown, John Mack
John Edward Mack
John Edward Mack, M.D. was an American psychiatrist, writer, and professor at Harvard Medical School...

, and Jeremy Wilson
Jeremy Wilson
Jeremy M. Wilson is a contemporary British historian, biographer, writer, editor, and fine-press publisher. He is also a business copywriter and editor working for major corporations....

) have argued this episode had strong psychological effects on Lawrence which may explain some of his unconventional behaviour in later life.

There is considerable evidence that Lawrence was a masochist. In his description of the Dera'a beating, Lawrence wrote "a delicious warmth, probably sexual, was swelling through me", and also included a detailed description of the guards' whip in a style typical of masochists' writing. In later life, Lawrence arranged to pay a military colleague to administer beatings to him, and to be subjected to severe formal tests of fitness and stamina. While John Bruce, who first wrote on this topic, included some other claims which were not credible, Lawrence's biographers regard the beatings as established fact.

John E. Mack sees a possible connection between T.E.'s masochism and the childhood beatings he had received from his mother for routine misbehaviors. His brother Arnold thought the beatings had been given for the purpose of breaking T.E.'s will.

Illegitimacy

Lawrence's biographer Flora Armitage writes about his illegitimacy
Legitimacy (law)
At common law, legitimacy is the status of a child who is born to parents who are legally married to one another; and of a child who is born shortly after the parents' divorce. In canon and in civil law, the offspring of putative marriages have been considered legitimate children...

: "The effect on... Lawrence of this discovery was profound; it added to the romantic urge for heroic conduct—the dream of the Sangreal—the seed of ambition, the desire for honor and distinction: the redemption of the blood from its taint."

Another biographer, John E. Mack, writes in a similar vein:

Mack elaborates further:

Awards

Lawrence was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath and awarded the Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Service Order
The Distinguished Service Order is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the British Commonwealth and Empire, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat.Instituted on 6 September...

 and the French Légion d'Honneur
Légion d'honneur
The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...

, though in October 1918 he refused to be made a Knight Commander of the British Empire.

Portrayals

Film
Lawrence was portrayed by Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole
Peter Seamus Lorcan O'Toole is an Irish actor of stage and screen. O'Toole achieved stardom in 1962 playing T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia, and then went on to become a highly-honoured film and stage actor. He has been nominated for eight Academy Awards, and holds the record for most...

 in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia
Lawrence of Arabia (film)
Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 British film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. It was directed by David Lean and produced by Sam Spiegel through his British company, Horizon Pictures, with the screenplay by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson. The film stars Peter O'Toole in the title role. It is widely...

.

Television
  • He was portrayed by Judson Scott
    Judson Scott
    Judson Earney Scott is an American stage, film and television actor. He has appeared in a number of science fiction productions, especially within the Star Trek franchise, as well as V and three episodes of The X-Files....

     in the 1982 TV series Voyagers!
    Voyagers!
    Voyagers! is an American science fiction time travel-based television series that aired on NBC during the 1982–1983 season. The series stars Jon-Erik Hexum and Meeno Peluce.-Plot:...

  • Ralph Fiennes
    Ralph Fiennes
    Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes is an English actor and film director. He has appeared in such films as The English Patient, In Bruges, The Constant Gardener, Strange Days, The Duchess and Schindler's List....

     portrayed Lawrence in the 1990 made-for-TV movie A Dangerous Man: Lawrence after Arabia
    A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia
    A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia is a made-for-TV movie depicting the experiences of T. E. Lawrence and Emir Feisal of the Hejaz at the Paris Peace Conference after the end of World War I. One of the conference's many concerns was determining the fates of territories formerly under the rule...

    .
  • Joseph A. Bennett
    Joseph A. Bennett
    Joseph A. Bennett is an English actor.Bennett was born in 1968 in London, England. He trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. He was one of two actors who portrayed T. E. Lawrence in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles...

     and Douglas Henshall
    Douglas Henshall
    Douglas James Henshall is a Scottish actor probably best known for his role as Professor Nick Cutter in the British science fiction series Primeval.-Early life:...

     portrayed him in the 1992 TV series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
    The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
    The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles is an American television series that aired on ABC from March 4, 1992, to July 24, 1993. The series explores the childhood and youth of the fictional character Indiana Jones and primarily stars Sean Patrick Flanery and Corey Carrier as the title character, with...

    . In Young Indiana Jones, Lawrence is portrayed as being a life-long friend of the title character
    Indiana Jones
    Colonel Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr., Ph.D. is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Indiana Jones franchise. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg created the character in homage to the action heroes of 1930s film serials...

    .
  • He was also portrayed in an Arabic series, directed by Thayer Musa, called "Lawrence Al Arab". The series consisted of 37 episodes, each between 45 minutes and one hour in length.


Theatre
  • Lawrence was the subject of Terence Rattigan
    Terence Rattigan
    Sir Terence Mervyn Rattigan CBE was one of England's most popular 20th-century dramatists. His plays are generally set in an upper-middle-class background...

    's controversial play Ross
    Ross (Play)
    Ross is a 1960 play by British playwright Terence Rattigan.It is a biographical play of T. E. Lawrence- Plot synopsis :The play is structured with a framing device set in 1922, when Lawrence was hiding under an assumed name as "Aircraftman Ross" in the Royal Air Force, and is being disciplined by...

    , which explored Lawrence's alleged homosexuality
    Homosexuality
    Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

    . Ross ran in London in 1960–61, starring Alec Guinness
    Alec Guinness
    Sir Alec Guinness, CH, CBE was an English actor. He was featured in several of the Ealing Comedies, including Kind Hearts and Coronets in which he played eight different characters. He later won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Colonel Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai...

    , who was an admirer of Lawrence and Gerald Harper
    Gerald Harper
    Gerald Harper is an actor, best known for his work on television, having played the title roles in Adam Adamant Lives! and Hadleigh ....

     as his blackmailer, Dickinson. The play had originally been written as a screenplay, but the planned film was never made, although large sections of the play's script can be identified in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia
    Lawrence of Arabia (film)
    Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 British film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. It was directed by David Lean and produced by Sam Spiegel through his British company, Horizon Pictures, with the screenplay by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson. The film stars Peter O'Toole in the title role. It is widely...

    , in which Alec Guinness
    Alec Guinness
    Sir Alec Guinness, CH, CBE was an English actor. He was featured in several of the Ealing Comedies, including Kind Hearts and Coronets in which he played eight different characters. He later won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Colonel Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai...

     plays Prince Faisal
    Faisal I of Iraq
    Faisal bin Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi, was for a short time King of the Arab Kingdom of Syria or Greater Syria in 1920, and was King of the Kingdom of Iraq from 23 August 1921 to 1933...

    . In January 1986 at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth
    Theatre Royal, Plymouth
    The Theatre Royal in Plymouth, Devon, England is "the largest and best attended regional producing theatre in the UK and the leading promoter of theatre in the south west", according to Arts Council England...

     on the opening night of the revival of Ross
    Ross (Play)
    Ross is a 1960 play by British playwright Terence Rattigan.It is a biographical play of T. E. Lawrence- Plot synopsis :The play is structured with a framing device set in 1922, when Lawrence was hiding under an assumed name as "Aircraftman Ross" in the Royal Air Force, and is being disciplined by...

    , Marc Sinden
    Marc Sinden
    Marc Sinden is an English theatre producer, documentary director and actor. His father is the actor Sir Donald Sinden.-Theatre:...

    , who was playing Dickinson (the man who recognised and blackmailed Lawrence, played by Simon Ward
    Simon Ward
    Simon Ward is an English stage and film actor.-Early life:Simon Ward was born in Beckenham, Kent, near London, the son of a car dealer. From an early age he wanted to be an actor. He was educated at Alleyn's School, London, the home of the National Youth Theatre, which he joined at age 13 and...

    ), was introduced to the man that the character of 'Dickinson' was based on. Sinden asked him why he had blackmailed Ross, and he replied, "Oh, for the money. I was financially embarrassed at the time and needed to get up to London to see a girlfriend. It was never meant to be a big thing, but a good friend of mine was very close to Terence Rattigan
    Terence Rattigan
    Sir Terence Mervyn Rattigan CBE was one of England's most popular 20th-century dramatists. His plays are generally set in an upper-middle-class background...

     and years later, the silly devil told him the story".
  • Alan Bennett
    Alan Bennett
    Alan Bennett is a British playwright, screenwriter, actor and author. Born in Leeds, he attended Oxford University where he studied history and performed with The Oxford Revue. He stayed to teach and research mediaeval history at the university for several years...

    's Forty Years On
    Forty Years On (play)
    Forty Years On is a 1968 play by Alan Bennett. It was his first West End play.-Subject:The play is set in a British public school called Albion House , which is putting on an end of term play in front of the parents, i.e. the audience...

    (1968) includes a satire on Lawrence; known as "Tee Hee Lawrence" because of his high-pitched, girlish giggle. "Clad in the magnificent white silk robes of an Arab prince ... he hoped to pass unnoticed through London. Alas he was mistaken." The section concludes with the headmaster confusing him with D. H. Lawrence
    D. H. Lawrence
    David Herbert Richards Lawrence was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter who published as D. H. Lawrence. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation...

    .
  • The character of Private Napoleon Meek in George Bernard Shaw
    George Bernard Shaw
    George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60...

    's 1931 play Too True to Be Good was inspired by Lawrence. Meek is depicted as thoroughly conversant with the language and lifestyle of tribals. He repeatedly enlists with the army, quitting whenever offered a promotion.
  • T. E. Lawrence's first year back at Oxford after the Great War to write his Seven Pillars of Wisdom was portrayed by Tom Rooney in a play, The Oxford Roof Climbers Rebellion, written by Canadian playwright Stephen Massicotte
    Stephen Massicotte
    Stephen Massicotte is a Canadian playwright, screenwriter and actor from Calgary, Alberta.-Plays:*The Jedi Handbooks trilogy**The Boy's Own Jedi Handbook**The Girls Strike Back...

     (premiered Toronto 2006). The play explores Lawrence's political, physical and psychological reactions to war, and his friendship with poet Robert Graves
    Robert Graves
    Robert von Ranke Graves 24 July 1895 – 7 December 1985 was an English poet, translator and novelist. During his long life he produced more than 140 works...

    . Urban Stages presented the American premiere in New York City in October 2007; Lawrence was portrayed by actor Dylan Chalfy.
  • Lawrence's final years are portrayed in a one-man show by Raymond Sargent
    Raymond Sargent
    Raymond Sargent was a critically acclaimed British actor, musician and dramatist.-Early life:Along with his sister Jean, he was born in the town of Poole, Dorset to a mother from Lancashire and Poole father.-Career:...

    , The Warrior and the Poet.

See also

  • Hashemite
    Hashemite
    Hashemite is the Latinate version of the , transliteration: Hāšimī, and traditionally refers to those belonging to the Banu Hashim, or "clan of Hashim", a clan within the larger Quraish tribe...

  • Suleiman Mousa
    Suleiman Mousa
    Suleiman Mousa was a Jordanian author and historian born in Al-Rafeed, a small village north of the city of Irbid...

  • Kingdom of Iraq
    Kingdom of Iraq
    The Kingdom of Iraq was the sovereign state of Iraq during and after the British Mandate of Mesopotamia. The League of Nations mandate started in 1920. The kingdom began in August 1921 with the coronation of Faisal bin al-Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi as King Faisal I...

  • Lawrence of Arabia: The Authorised Biography of T.E. Lawrence

External links


The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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