The Young T.E. Lawrence

Anthony Sattin. Norton, $29.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-393-24266-9
Sattin (Lifting the Veil), a travel writer with an extensive background in the Middle East, approaches the oft-profiled T.E. Lawrence from a new angle, focusing exclusively on the first half of Lawrence’s life, prior to the events that would make him famous. He wonders “how the second son of a quiet, comfortably off, apparently unexceptional Oxford family came to play a role—any role—in the Arab uprising.” An enterprising and brilliant archaeologist with a taste for adventure, Lawrence spent several formative years on a dig at Carchemish (on the modern Turkey-Syria frontier) and made a number of exploratory treks around the region. Noting the extent to which Lawrence adopted local culture, Sattin points out that he was, by Arab standards, “an extremely unusual [man] for being wealthy and still wanting to walk alone, in the remote countryside, in the summer.” Brief and engaging, the book makes extensive use of Lawrence’s correspondence with his parents, brothers, and colleagues. Sattin argues that Lawrence fought for Arab self-determination because he viewed it as “an acceptable present for the man he had loved,” a teenager who taught him Arabic at Carchemish and died in late 1916 or early 1917, probably of typhus. Agent: Melanie Jackson, Melanie Jackson Agency. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/24/2014
Release date: 01/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-393-24267-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-5113-1950-8
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