Course overview

Thomas Edward Lawrence CB DSO (16 August 1888 – 19 May 1935), better known as Lawrence of Arabia, was a British archaeologist, army officer and diplomat, who became renowned for his role in the Arab Revolt in Sinai and Palestine between 1916 and 1918 against the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire during the First World War. His strategy and tactics, and the breadth and diversity of his activities and associations, along with his ability to describe them vividly in writing, earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia, a title used for David Lean’s film of 1962, and the source of numerous biographies.

Course description

This one-day course explores the life and career of T.E. Lawrence who, as an archaeologist and scholar played a pivotal role as a British Army officer during the Arab Revolt between 1916 and 1918. At that time Egypt was a British protectorate and, as such, the Arabs were encouraged to revolt against the Turkish occupiers who were then occupying the Arab Middle East. Lawrence eventually became a liaison officer between the British and the Arabs and was advisor to Prince Faisal, and was pivotal in leading the Arab uprising against the Turks. After the war Lawrence’s exploits in the Middle East brought him fame, but his support for independence for the Arab states failed. By then, Lawrence served as adviser to the Colonial Office on Middle Eastern affairs, and it was during this time that he began to write about his adventures which were eventually published in 1935 under the title The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. It was in that year when Lawrence was killed in a motor-cycle accident.

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