Seven Pillars of Wisdom
'It ranks with the greatest books ever written in the English language.' So said Winston Churchill after reading T.E. Lawrence's 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom'.
The book, a mixture of autobiography and military history, tells the story of the almost 'Boy's Own Adventures' of Lawrence as he helped the Arab leaders in their revolt against the Ottoman Empire from 1916. The escapades were given global attention in 1962, when the movie 'Lawrence of Arabia' was released. Very little Hollywood spin was needed. For the truth was extraordinary enough. Find out about sun-baked negotiations in the desert, near misses, friendship, tragedy and fierce desert battles.
It is an autobiography that reads like fast-moving military fiction. Thomas Edward (T.E.) Lawrence (1888-1935) was a British archaeologist, writer, diplomat and army officer who became known as 'Lawrence of Arabia' through his role in the Arab Revolt (1916-1918). He was working in the British Army's intelligence unit in Egypt and - during missions in Mesopotamia and Arabia - liaised with the Arab forces that were fighting the Ottoman Empire. Lawrence worked closely with Emir Faisal, leader of the revolt, even taking charge of some military actions. Back in Britain after 1918, Lawrence joined the Foreign Office, then the Royal Air Force. In 1926 he wrote the autobiographical 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom', about his participation in the Arab Revolt. He also wrote 'The Mint', about his time in the RAF. Lawrence died in a motorcycle accident in Dorset in 1935. His public image was later to receive a huge boost when David Lean directed the 1962 movie 'Lawrence of Arabia', starring Peter O'Toole and Alec Guinness.