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T.E. Lawrence (British Library Historic Lives) Hardcover – Illustrated, 1 Oct 2003

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: British Library Publishing Division; First Edition edition (1 Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712348093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712348096
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,211,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


In his distinctive, clear prose military historian Malcolm Brown tells the almost absurdly dramatic life of 'Lawrence of Arabia' --BBC History Magazine

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great little book which had exactly the kind of depth I wanted. A lot of gaps have been filled. Of course, if you want a greater depth book, you will learn more. There wasn't so much on his desert campaign but that was only a slight disappointment. His post war career is excellently mapped out. A well written book and I strongly recommend it. Readable
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By Javaslublu Books on 5 Feb 2009
Format: Hardcover
One in the Great Lives Series edited by Elizabeth Longford. Biography of T E Lawrence, examining the half-truths and paradoxes dimly seen through the glitter of the legend and the elusive personality of the man. Illustrated with b/w photographs.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Informative, clear, & broad understanding of T.E. Lawrence. 1 Jan 1999
By Noel Hastings - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I am by no means an expert on T.E.Lawrence, this biography is really my introduction. Mr. Wilson seems to take all sources of information into account before making a statement regarding Lawrence. There have been many romantic and erroneous biographies of this man, but this book seems to treat Lawrence with the academic distance required to provide as impartial a view of the man as is possible. It is clear that Wilson views Lawrence with affection, but he trys to keep it in check most of the time. He gives a clear view and description of reasonable motivations for many of Lawrence's actions, based on corroborative evidence and basic common sense given Lawrence's age, surroundings, and the political environment he was emersed in. I feel confident that I have as impartial a view of Lawrence as I will ever get. At times the narrative of the current environment gets a bit long and I yearn to return to Lawrence, but I understand that a key to understanding Lawrence is to understand his world and the middle east of the day. I must admit, as an added bonus I learned much regarding the formation of much of the middle east to which I was ignorant of simply from this book. When I want romance I will rent "Lawrence of Arabia"!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A solid overview of one of the century's great enigmas 15 May 2002
By Robert Moore - Published on
Format: Hardcover
We are still awaiting a truly great biography of T. E. Lawrence. Easily one of the most fascinating and complex individuals of the past century, Lawrence remains in many ways a cipher and an enigma. I found Peter Brent's volume in a used bookstore, and bought it for the superb illustrations as much as for the text. Luckily, the text provides a solid and useful treatment. Brent doesn't dissipate the mystery of Lawrence so much as introduce the reader to it. For instance, he juxtaposes Lawrence's apparent asexuality and revolt at physical contact with others with his pleasure in physical masochism, without a serious attempt to provide a solution to this mystery. He makes several suggestions that many of Lawrence's difficulties in life may have been related to a sense of being an illegitimate child and a consciousness of being rejected by his father's family, but he is not able to systematically relate this to specific instances of his life. At the same time, the book doesn't degenerate into psychobiography, something that could happen all too easily with someone as complex as Lawrence.
The bulk of the book deals with the Arab Revolt against Turkey, and Lawrence's role in it. The discussion is solid without being outstanding. Brent does a fine job of outlining the major issues in the conflict, describing the major figures in the conflict, and depicting the difficulties in any happy resolution. He treats Lawrence fairly, not minimizing his role, but not buying uncritically into the Lawrence legend. He neither tries to erect an idol nor destroy an icon. He also deals with Lawrence's life before WW I, and to a much lesser extent, his life after it. I wish the latter part of the book had been a bit fuller. I found the final years of Lawrence's life to be dealt with far too brusquely.
The illustrations make the book. There are photographs of nearly all the key figures, color reproductions of many of the illustrations from the original private edition of THE SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM (including a number of cartoonish depictions of Lawrence), and fascinating photographs of Lawrence from all stages of his life. Even if one did not wish to read the text, I could recommend this volume as a great visual companion volume to anyone reading THE SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
"A knight, perhaps....a dream" 6 April 2008
By Gene Cisco - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This was the biography that filled-in the romantic perspective etched by the David Lean film,"Lawrence Of Arabia," on this then adolescent's imagination. The film was expansive, larger-than-life, suitably so for a man-of-letters, an artist, writer and military man. Properly balanced, properly distanced from this charismatic scholarly man, Jeremy Wilson provides an engrossing, archeological dig on the man himself, stopping with the contradictions of Lawrence's psyche. This is a good starting point for anyone interested in reading about genius among the mediocre, both military and political. When you read through his personal letters and read an earlier work of his middle east diggings, "Crusader Castles:...," you will discover that this literary, military strategist and inventor(much classified)projected himself into his future. I am so happy for other dreamers to discover this uncommon man in this 21st Century. If politicians could learn beyond schoolyears our problems in the Middle East would subside.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An Interesting Introduction to a Fascinating Man 10 Sep 2013
By R. Wright - Published on
Format: Hardcover
At 151 pages of text, this is the perfect book for people who want to learn the facts about T. E. Lawrence without having to invest weeks in the process. Malcolm Brown has researched and written several books about Lawrence, and has managed to write a succinct but informative biography in this volume.

Brown writes well; his style quickly draws in the reader. He uses excerpts from Lawrence's own letters and books to better describe Lawrence's experiences, while also quoting other contemporary sources to confirm the facts as presented by Lawrence. The book contains reproductions of portraits of key figures, maps, and photographs, many taken by Lawrence himself, all beautifully reproduced on quality paper. (This small volume is easy to carry around, and made to last.) The book starts with an overview of the important facts in Lawrence's family history, and ends with the resurgence of interest in T. E. Lawrence after the release of the 1962 film depicting Lawrence's accomplishments in aiding the Arab fighters during WWI.

Readers are left with a better understanding of the 20th century history of the Middle East,the origins of the recent "Arab Spring", and much of the current unrest in that region, as well as an insight into the genius and complexities of T. E. Lawrence. This book is a satisfying read on its own, or as an introduction to more in-depth biographies of Lawrence, or to Lawrence's own writings.
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