A page from the promotional brochure for Lowell Thomas’ “With Allenby in Palestine,” a travelogue which propelled T.E. Lawrence to fame. Circa 1920. Click to enlarge!
Even if Lawrence’s motorcycle has been removed from the Imperial War Museum (can any readers confirm or deny this?) there are still a few of his war relics on display there and I would definitely still pay the museum a visit. Plus, it’s a great museum regardless, especially if you love history. You could also visit 14 Barton Street in Westminster. This is where T.E. lived when he wrote Seven Pillars of Wisdom. I don’t think the building allows for tours, but it’s always interesting the visit the haunts of historical figures. Eric Kennington’s bust of Lawrence can be seen in St. Paul’s Cathedral, the same one that appears at the beginning of the film Lawrence of Arabia, if I’m not mistaken.
When you visit Dorset to see Cloud’s Hill, you could also check out a few things: his grave in Morton cemetery, Kennington’s carved effigy at a church in Wareham, and the Bovington Tank Museum.
Do any readers have any additional recommendations for Lawrence sites in London or Dorset?
I’ve had a few requests to share my favorite books about T.E. Lawrence. I tried to limit myself to just those books I find myself reaching for often.
- My favorite biography is John E. Mack’s A Prince of Our Disorder. I’m partial towards it because it was the first Lawrence biography I read, but it is also well-researched, beautifully written, and I enjoyed the psychological analysis Mack provides. The author was a psychiatrist and professor at Harvard.
- Victoria Ocampo’s 338171, T.E. (Lawrence of Arabia) is another interesting read, a short biography by an Argentinian writer. T.E. Lawrence’s brother Arnold felt that it gave the best-balanced portrait of T.E.
- Harold Orlans’ T.E. Lawrence: Biography of a Broken Hero discusses obscure aspects of Lawrence’s life in great detail — things that are usually left out or only touched upon in most biographies.
- I think my favorite books are those of his letters. I’m a little more partial towards David Garnett’s Letters of T.E. Lawrence, but Malcolm Brown’s T.E. Lawrence: The Selected Letters is another essential. There’s a lot of overlap, but Malcolm Brown’s book contains letters that were purposefully omitted from Garnett’s.
- T.E. Lawrence by His Friends was edited by Lawrence’s youngest brother Arnold Lawrence. It is a collection of stories about T.E. from his dearest friends and colleagues.
- Finally, for beautiful photographs, I include Joseph Berton’s T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt and Malcolm Brown’s Lawrence of Arabia: the Life, the Legend.
|—||T.E. Lawrence to Lady Astor, 1930.|
|—||Film critic Janet Maslin|
A rare signed photograph of T.E. Lawrence. You can see his signature in the bottom right-hand corner. Circa October 1917.
A page from a promotional brochure for Lowell Thomas’ “With Allenby in Palestine,” a travelogue which propelled T.E. Lawrence to fame. Circa 1920.