T. E. Lawrence

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T. E. Lawrence, as Thomas Edward Lawrence (1888–1935) is usually known, is perhaps most famous as Lawrence of Arabia, the British liaison officer with the Arab Revolt in the Arabian peninsula against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. He became famous as Colonel Lawrence (a rank he was awarded in 1918), mostly through the shows of Lowell Thomas, an American publicist and war correspondent.

The young Lawrence had developed a keen interest in antiquities and archaeology. He took a first class degree at Oxford in 1909 in History, submitting a thesis "The Influence of the Crusades on European Military Architecture — to the End of the 12th Century", later published as Crusader Castles (1936), following a 3-month tour of Lebanon and Syria, having previously studied medieval castles in France as well as England. After graduation, Lawrence worked with D.G.Hogarth and Leonard Woolley in the excavation at Carchemish (northern Syria, near Aleppo). In 1914, war broke out, and Lawrence (and Hogarth, his mentor) were posted to the Arab Bureau in Military Intelligence in Cairo. They had previously, as civilian archaeologists, covertly mapped the Negev Desert on behalf of the British Artmy, as the Ottoman Empire might attack Egypt through the Negev. In 1916, he joined the Arab Revolt against the Turks as liaison officer. A convinced Arabophile, he endeavoured always to support self-determination in the post-war settlenent plans, and linked this to a distrust of Fench plans for Syria and Lebanon. (See the Sykes-Picot Agreement.) His great acxhievement originally was to

Seven Pillars of Wisdom

Revolt in the Desert


Terence Rattigan's controversial play Ross (`960)

The Mint

  • Lawrence of Arabia 1962 film; 7 Oscars; David Lean, Peter O'Toole, Alec Guiness, Omar Sharif etc