A new biography of Lawrence of Arabia
T.E. Lawrence is one of the most enigmatic characters in British history. At the outbreak of the First World War he was working as an archaeologist in the Middle East. He had no military training at all, and a strong distrust of politicians and senior officers alike. And yet he succeeded in a task where all these people had failed: not only did he unite the Arab nation - a nation at perpetual war with itself - but he also led them to victory against the Ottoman Empire.
How he managed to achieve these incredible feats has fascinated and confounded historians ever since. The myths that have grown up around this remarkable man have been enhanced by the untruths Lawrence himself propagated. He was never captured and tortured by the Turks as he claimed, neither was he the first to target Ottoman troops by dynamiting their trains. And yet the truth is every bit as compelling as the fiction. He was far more ruthless than he portrayed himself, and the battles he fought were every bit as barbarous as those fought by his Ottoman enemies. He was also strangely determined not to take credit for his achievements: when offered the VC at Buckingham Palace he refused it, leaving the king holding the box.
This brand new biography by the author of RORKE'S DRIFT uses primary sources to uncover the truth from all the fictions that surround this legendary man. It covers the actualities of the war Lawrence fought in greater detail than ever before, and also describes what happened to Lawrence after the war.
Having spent many years as a police superintendent, Dr Adrian Greaves now devotes his time to writing. He is the founder/editor of the Journal of the Anglo-Zulu War Historical Society, and gives regular battlefield tours of Isandlwana and Rorke s Drift. He is the author of numerous books on British colonial history in Africa.