Cling tight to your sense of humour. You will need it every day. A dry irony is the most useful type, and repartee of a personal and not too broad character will double your influence with the chiefs. Reproof, if wrapped up in some smiling form, will carry further and last longer than the most violent speech. The power of mimicry or parody is valuable, but use it sparingly, for wit is more dignified than humour. Do not cause a laugh at a Sherif except amongst Sherifs.

T.E. Lawrence in his “Twenty-seven Articles,” 1917

One of the more interesting T.E. Lawrence books I’ve come across. You can read a digital version of this book HERE.

One of the more interesting T.E. Lawrence books I’ve come across. You can read a digital version of this book HERE.

A caricature of T.E. Lawrence by artist David Levine.

A caricature of T.E. Lawrence by artist David Levine.

"Sorry: this thing is being given only to my friends and their friends. No copies are for sale."
T.E. Lawrence’s response to a book shop owner who wished to acquire subscriber’s edition copies of Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

"Sorry: this thing is being given only to my friends and their friends. No copies are for sale."

T.E. Lawrence’s response to a book shop owner who wished to acquire subscriber’s edition copies of Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

If I’m Prime Minister for the next war, all independent commands shall be given to the finest writers of the generation. We may lost the war… but think of the glories to be published as the Peace rolls on!

T.E. Lawrence to Charlotte Shaw, October 1924

E.M. Forster’s edition of Seven Pillars of Wisdom, sold at auction in December 2012 for 97,250 GBP.

ouphrontis:

"The streets were narrow alleys, wood roofed in the main bazaar but elsewhere open to the sky for the little gap between the tops of the lofty white-walled houses. They were built, for or five storeys high, of coral rag, tied with wooden beams, and decorated with great bow-windows running from ground to roof in grey wooden panels.  The style of architecture was like Elizabethan half-timber work, in the elaborate Chesire fashion, but gone gimrack to an incredible degree. House fronts were fretted and pierced and pargetted til they looked as though cut out of cardboard for a romantic stage-setting. Every storey jutted, every window leaned one way or other, often the very walls sloped back and forward." 

T.E. Lawrence describing Jidda in Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

Photos by him, from The Imperial War Museum. 

Glad you are reading the thing [Seven Pillars of Wisdom]. Please don’t inhibit yourself from scribbling comments of an insulting sort in the margins, made especially wide for the purpose. Your praise makes my stomach warm: but your criticisms are really helpful: whether in the field of morality, belles-lettres, tactics, or just manners. Down with them while you can!

T.E. Lawrence to Robin Buxton, 1923

Bust of T.E. Lawrence by artist Sir Charles Thomas Wheeler, currently in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery.

Bust of T.E. Lawrence by artist Sir Charles Thomas Wheeler, currently in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery.

I’m no writer: can’t write: wish I could see you: am home-sick for the R.A.F. The army is more beastly than anything else which the wit of man has made. Only of course it wasn’t his wit that made it: it came suddenly from him at midnight one moonless time, when he was taken short. God be merciful to us sinners.

T.E. Lawrence to A.E. Chambers, September 1923

Au revoir some day … but why not come down here? A bed, tinned food, bread butter & jam: a quiet cottage, very lovely. Any day after July 4. Wool station. Razor & tooth-brush & pyjamas not provided.

T.E. Lawrence to his friend Vyvyan Richards, June 1924

nprfreshair:

One of the most intriguing figures of 20th-century warfare is T.E. Lawrence, the British army officer who immersed himself in the culture of the Arabian Peninsula’s Bedouin tribes and played a key role in the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Turks during World War I. He became a well-known and romanticized figure in post-war England, and was immortalized in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia.
Scott Anderson spent four years researching Lawrence and three other young men who were involved in the momentous events of the Middle East during and after the war. (Those other men include an American, a German and a Jew living in Palestine.) What Anderson discovered about Lawrence is different from, but every bit as interesting as, the popular image of the man. 
Anderson on Lawrence’s affinity for understanding Arab culture:

"He spent three or four years as an archaeologist in northern Syria. He was one of those people … that goes to a foreign place and just seem[s] to have an instant recognition and affinity for a foreign culture, and Lawrence certainly had that with the Arabs.


"… He really studied the whole idea of the way society worked, the clan structure and the tribal structure. When he got to Arabia, those same structures and the lines of what land belonged to which tribe were even more ferocious … and Lawrence really understood this in a way that virtually no other British officer in the area understood it."

Photo: T.E. Lawrence outside his tent with staff; Marist Special Collections B&W glass plate 1262.36 via ClioHistory

nprfreshair:

One of the most intriguing figures of 20th-century warfare is T.E. Lawrence, the British army officer who immersed himself in the culture of the Arabian Peninsula’s Bedouin tribes and played a key role in the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Turks during World War I. He became a well-known and romanticized figure in post-war England, and was immortalized in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia.

Scott Anderson spent four years researching Lawrence and three other young men who were involved in the momentous events of the Middle East during and after the war. (Those other men include an American, a German and a Jew living in Palestine.) What Anderson discovered about Lawrence is different from, but every bit as interesting as, the popular image of the man. 

Anderson on Lawrence’s affinity for understanding Arab culture:

"He spent three or four years as an archaeologist in northern Syria. He was one of those people … that goes to a foreign place and just seem[s] to have an instant recognition and affinity for a foreign culture, and Lawrence certainly had that with the Arabs.

"… He really studied the whole idea of the way society worked, the clan structure and the tribal structure. When he got to Arabia, those same structures and the lines of what land belonged to which tribe were even more ferocious … and Lawrence really understood this in a way that virtually no other British officer in the area understood it."

Photo: T.E. Lawrence outside his tent with staff; Marist Special Collections B&W glass plate 1262.36 via ClioHistory

Francis Derwent Wood, RA (1871-1926) - Colonel T.E. Lawrence Bronze Bust. Imperial War Museum. London, England.

Francis Derwent Wood, RA (1871-1926) - Colonel T.E. Lawrence Bronze Bust. Imperial War Museum. London, England.

Photos, quotes, and other tidbits based on the life and legend of T.E. Lawrence, more commonly known as Lawrence of Arabia. Please use the links at the top of the page (specifically the "Tags" link) in order to find more information about specific aspects of T.E. Lawrence's life.


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