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No one was more famous, and no one had a more complicated relationship with the limelight. He seemed always to be running across the well-connected. Lawrence was then sent to train under a Bonham Carter. Those two years in the desert defined the rest of his life, and if he found that renown a burden he did not try as hard as he could have done to escape it, spending an age writing his voluminous Seven Pillars of Wisdom and confessing the "secret" of his new life in the air force to the editor of the Daily Express.

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So much for the legend, which Korda recounts well, if lengthily and repetitiously, in his new biography. What of the man and his achievements? From the start, he appears to have been not only irritatingly precocious - he could read the newspaper upside down aged five, and was capable, we are told, of consuming green plums in a day - but frequently unbearably aware of it, too.

Omar Sharif talks Peter O'Toole and Lawrence of Arabia - The Late Late Show - RTÉ One

Sent to Cairo as a temporary second lieutenant on the intelligence staff in , he was soon rubbing his superiors up the wrong way with his pedantry he delighted in correcting split infinitives and refusal to respect rank. And the British representative in Jeddah wrote after meeting him in "Lawrence wants kicking and kicking hard at that. Nevertheless, he managed to earn the respect of the fractious tribes and unite them, with the help of enormous quantities of British gold, as possibly no one else could have done.

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When I was a child in Saudi Arabia in the s you could still come across the remnants of the Hejaz Railway, locomotives and bits of track that "Emir Dynamite" had blown up, thus constantly cutting off the Ottoman supply lines down to Medina. He was undoubtedly brave: his surveillance deep behind enemy lines in Syria won him a recommendation for a VC and he justly earned a string of decorations, including the CB and the DSO.

I suppose it will have to go to Foch. We quote Mr.

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Korda several times in our "Other Perspectives" sections. Thank you for publishing this review. I have made a purchase suggestion to my local public library for the acquisition of this new book. Share this Post.

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Published by HarperCollins, New York. In addition, no total understanding of guerilla and irregular warfare tactics will be complete without a study of this British officer, better known as Lawrence of Arabia. There have been movies, documentaries, and many books about Lawrence and the Arab Revolt.

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Initially, I was concerned about the title of Michael Korda's new book on T. Hero gives the impression of delving into the mythology of the person, and not their complexities. I am glad to have not been dissuaded, and delved into the pages of text, and found an important biography of Lawrence. Korda balances Lawrence's significant accomplishments as solider, diplomat, warrior, and writer, with his deep insecurities beginning with his upbringing as an illegitimate child of a minor British nobleman and governess who simply chose to live together unmarried for the rest of their lives.

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Chapters go into the relationship Lawrence had with his mother and father, his accomplishments designed more to please his mother and less himself. Of note, Korda has written excellent biographies of General Ulysses S.

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Grant and Dwight D. Korda covers how Lawrence, while at college, was recruited by British Military Intelligence. Hogarth would be one of a handful of mentors keeping an eye out for potential officers with language, travel, and archeological experience in the Middle East. Archeological expeditions between Germany, Britain, and France not only brought prestige, but served as a cover for intelligence collection and political influence in the ailing Ottoman Empire. Entire chapters reveals the hazards Lawrence endured while conducting months of excavations in modern day Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine.