T. E. Lawrence (Magill's Literary Annual 1978)
T. E. Lawrence, that extraordinary if enigmatic figure who captured the battle-wearied imagination of the West after World War I, once again has surfaced as the subject of a major biography. In fact, the present study by Desmond Stewart is the third major biography of Lawrence to appear in the last decade. The reasons for Lawrence’s enduring reputation, however, are plain enough. Like Charles Lindbergh, he was a heroic figure in a world that became increasingly unheroic. In addition, the many uncertainties about every part of his life has made him a fascinating subject for biography. Lawrence, of course, was a legend in his own time, and, as it is with most legendary figures, he has both his defenders and his detractors. In this biography Desmond Stewart, a noted Arabic scholar, attempts to present Lawrence in a believable manner.
The basic outline of Lawrence’s life is easily discernible, as it always has been. Born in Wales in the year 1888, Lawrence spent his boyhood in Oxford where his family moved in 1896. It was there that he was schooled, there that he acquired an interest in archaeology, and there that he entered Jesus College in 1907. After winning first-class honors in history in 1910, he received a post-graduate award that allowed him to join an archaeological expedition at the old Hittite city of Carchemish in Asia Minor. His knowledge of the Arabs, their customs and language, and of the area, led to his being assigned to the Military...
(The entire section is 1553 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1978)
Best Sellers. XXXVII, November, 1977, p. 246.
Economist. CCLXIV, July 2, 1977, p. 112.
Kirkus Reviews. XLV, June 1, 1977, p. 617.
National Review. XXIX, August 19, 1977, p. 948.
New Statesman. XCIV, July 8, 1977, p. 56.
New York Review of Books. XXIV, September 29, 1977, p. 21.
New York Times Book Review. November 6, 1977, p. 1.
Publisher’s Weekly. CCXII, July 18, 1977, p. 129.
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