Lawrence of Arabia: The Life, the Legend

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9780500512388: Lawrence of Arabia: The Life, the Legend
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Lawrence's story told through his own photographs, paintings, drawings, and ephemera, all supported by quotations from his mesmerizing firsthand account of his experiences.

From the moment that Alexander Korda first set out to turn T. E. Lawrence's life into a movie not long after Lawrence's death in 1935 (a passion that only became a reality in the 1960s through other hands in Peter O'Toole's riveting performance), the mythic figure of the man on the camel enacting a heroic dream has captured the imagination of each succeeding generation.

Now, seventy years after Lawrence's death and at a time when the Middle Eastern setting in which he acquired fame is constantly in the news, this visual biography takes us inside the mind of a man of extraordinary energy, ability, and charisma. Lawrence seemed to have everything in his hands, only to throw it all away and turn his life into an obsessive quest for anonymity and sanctuary.

Fiercely ambitious, yet ambivalent about recognition, Lawrence had a brilliant academic career at Oxford before the First World War. Army intelligence work in Egypt in the early years of the war was the prelude to his participation in Emir Feisal's great Arab revolt against the Ottomans, fame at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, and work with Winston Churchill after the war. But then came a relentless, restless, self-abasing search for obscurity under assumed names, followed by a mysterious motorcycle crash and death at the age of forty-six. 180 illustrations, 80 in color.

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About the Author:

Malcolm Brown has written widely on T. E. Lawrence and his research over many years included interviews with people who had known Lawrence.

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Lawrence was a Welsh-born British soldier, adventurer, and writer who led the Arab revolt against the Turks (1916-18) and later wrote an account of his adventures in the classic Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Brown chronicles Lawrence's life from his early years in North Wales and Oxford to his travels in the Middle East and his military career, which the author documents in detail. Spicing the text are excerpts from letters and from Seven Pillars. (Charlotte Shaw, the wife of playwright George Bernard Shaw, was Lawrence's most constant and intimate correspondent in his later years.) Brown posits that fame after death was inevitable for Lawrence and the ripples of that posthumous fame have been widening ever since, with historians now quoting Lawrence as an authority with relevant things to say about the present-day warfare in the Middle East. In 2004, The Times (London) reported a massive surge of interest in Seven Pillars, and Brown reasons that Lawrence obviously still has the power to fascinate and astonish. The text is heavily illustrated in color and black and white. George Cohen
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