T. E. Lawrence

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Lawrence, T. E.

(Thomas Edward Lawrence), 1888–1935, British adventurer, soldier, and scholar, known as Lawrence of Arabia. While a student at Oxford he went on a walking tour of Syria and in 1911 joined a British Museum archaeological expedition in Mesopotamia. He remained in the Middle East until 1914, learning colloquial Arabic and making exploratory trips and archaeological surveys. After the outbreak of World War I, Lawrence was attached to the intelligence section of the British army in Egypt.

In 1916, he joined the Arab forces under Faisal al Husayn (Faisal IFaisal I
or Faysal I
, 1885–1933, king of Iraq (1921–33). The third son of Husayn ibn Ali, sherif of Mecca, he is also called Faisal ibn Husayn. Faisal was educated in Constantinople and later sat in the Ottoman parliament as deputy for Jidda.
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) and became a link between the British and the Arab rebels as well as a leader in the Arab revolt against Turkish rule. Lawrence molded a diverse group of a few thousand tribesmen into an effective guerrilla force whose small, rapid assaults tied down large Turkish armies. After the war he was a delegate to the Paris Peace Conference, where in vain he sought independence for the Arabs. He became (1919) a research fellow at Oxford and served (1921–22) as Middle East adviser to the colonial office, working constantly for the creation of independent Arab states.

Lawrence had meanwhile become something of a legendary figure, but in 1922 he enlisted, under the name of Ross, as a mechanic in the Royal Air Force. There have been many interpretations of his search for anonymity: his feeling that he had betrayed Arab hopes for independence or, conversely, the conviction that he had done everything possible for his Arab friends and could do no more; an almost pathological aversion to publicity; or emotional disturbances produced by his war experiences. When Lawrence's identity was discovered (1923), he went into the tank corps; in 1925 he rejoined the air force. He legally adopted (1927) the name T. E. Shaw.

In Paris in 1919, Lawrence began to write a narrative of his Arabian adventures, but he lost most of the manuscript and had to rewrite the whole without his notes, which he had destroyed. The result was the celebrated Seven Pillars of Wisdom, which was privately printed and circulated in 1926 although not published commercially until 1935. An abridged version, Revolt in the Desert, appeared in 1927. The Mint, an account of his life in the Royal Air Force, written under the pseudonym J. H. Ross, was published in 1955. Other works are a translation of the Odyssey (1932), Oriental Assembly (papers, ed. by his brother, A. W. Lawrence, 1939), and his letters (ed. by David Garnett, 1938, new ed. 1964).


See biographies by R. Graves (1928), D. Orgil (1973), J. E. Mack (1976), M. Brown and J. Cave (1988), J. Wilson (1989), M. Asher (1999), and M. Korda (2010); studies by J. Meyers, ed. (1989) and S. Anderson (2013); bibliographies by F. Clements (1973) and P. O'Brien (1988).

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References in periodicals archive ?
In the public's mind, "Lawrence of Arabia" is not T.E. Lawrence, the brave British soldier who helped the Arab tribes fight against their Ottoman Turkish overlords, but rather Peter O'Toole, who had little in common with the character he portrayed.
SIMPLY AS A commander, T.E. Lawrence proved he could do serious, theater-wide strategy.
OXFORD: T.E. Lawrence's Arab attire, an entire Japanese tea house and the best Aegean history collection outside Greece are the star exhibits at Britain's oldest public museum, just reopened at the weekend.AaOxford's Ashmolean Museum swung its doors open after a multi-million-dollar renovation, which shut the museum for 10 months.
There have been numerous biographies of T.E. Lawrence, including Jeremy Wilson, Lawrence of Arabia, The Authorized Biography of T.E.
PERHAPS THE BEST known Briton in Arabia at the time was Colonel T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935), most famous for the part he played in helping orchestrate the revolt of the Hejaz Arabs against their Ottoman overlords.
Speaking self-reflectively about his hero Charles Doughty, author of Travels in Arabia Deserta (1888), Lawrence remarked that "Doughty's two years wandering in untainted places made him the man he is" (The Home Letters of T.E. Lawrence, Oxford: Blackwell, 1954, p.
This history also offers sobering lessons for those inclined to a simplistic view of today's complex world, for example, via a warning from T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia): "The foreigner and Christian is not a popular person in Arabia.
It shows rules were bent so T.E. Lawrence could join up after his First World War exploits using the name J.H.
When T.E. Lawrence attempted to ``give 20 million Semites thefoundation on which to build the dream-palace of their national thoughts'' (Seven Pillars of Wisdom) there was no Jewish state nor even a homeland.
His published works include several essays and books on Swedish medieval history and 20th century foreign policy and a book on the British adventurer T.E. Lawrence, reports The Associated Press.
A RARE book by the real-life Lawrence of Arabia, T.E. Lawrence was sold for pounds 18,000 at auction in Edinburgh yesterday.
T.E. Lawrence was killed in 1936 while riding his Brough Superior motorcycle, a gift from a number of friends, including Bernard Shaw.