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Military Report on the Sinai Peninsula
Towards 'An English Fourth'
Seven Pillars of Wisdom, The Complete 1922 Text
Paperback edition
'The Mint' and Later Writings About Service Life
Boats for the R.A.F. 1929-1935
reports and correspondence


The Forest Giant


Correspondence with Bernard and Charlotte Shaw
Correspondence with E. M. Forster and F.L. Lucas
More Correspondence with Writers
Correspondence with Edward and David Garnett
Correspondence with Henry Williamson
Translating the Bruce Rogers 'Odyssey'
Correspondence with the Political Elite 1922-1935


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Jeremy Wilson, Lawrence of Arabia,
The Authorised Biography


Lawrence of Arabia was published in England by William Heinemann in 1989, and in the US by Atheneum in 1990. It was selected by the New York Times Review of Books as one of the fourteen best titles published in the United States that year.

It has been translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, German, and Spanish. No English-language edition is currently in print, but a revised edition is in preparation.


The Times, London:

'It is an extraordinary story, and none the worse for being narrated here in a measured and detailed fashion. Jeremy Wilson has cut away the accretions of myth and romance by relying largely on contemporary documents, but the figure who emerges at the end of the historical process is quite as extraordinary as any concocted in the cinema or in the more sensational biographies.

'Truth can be more bewildering than fiction, after all, and the story of T.E. Lawrence - this odd, obsessive, driven man who sought anonymity and against all his wishes was granted immortal fame - is far more interesting than that of the conventional hero swathed in Arab head gear.'

Peter Ackroyd

New York Times Review of Books:

'This biography by Jeremy Wilson, who has written introductions to several of Lawrence's books, is a fine achievement, powered by a smooth engine and running on rubber tires . . . No jokes, no exclamation marks, no obscurities. No sentence needs to be read twice to be understood . . . It would be a brave critic who would challenge its facts, the product of ten years of research. . .

'Mr Wilson needed to be, and is, a skilled analyst of human nature. Lawrence's was a peculiarly complex character. He has been endlessly written about, and a new version might try to be too clever in search of new angles. Mr Wilson has avoided this. He does not spoil a splendid story by academic dryness or petulance . . .

'Unlike most great captains, [Lawrence] minded deeply the death of his soldiers in battle and kept the political motive of his campaign in the forefront of his mind. And, unlike most fluent writers, he took endless pains with revisions of what he wrote, and was never pleased by the result. He was unlikable, perhaps, but admirable, vulnerable, yet stern.

'This biography will endure beside Seven Pillars as his monument, and any future book about T. E. Lawrence will be but a commentary on it'.

Nigel Nicolson

The Independent, London:

'. . . the public man emerges from these soberly-written pages in brilliant colours . . . after all those acres of romantic maundering, political axe-grinding and simple malice about Lawrence, it is indeed a relief to come across an account which adheres so firmly to fact and is written in a lucid, unfussy style. In this regard, it is hard to believe that Wilson's study will ever be bettered.'

Daily Telegraph, London:

'Faced with the problems of presenting the findings of his fifteen years' research, Jeremy Wilson saw two possible choices: a 'historical' biography or a 'critical' one. He opted for the former, so his book is basically story rather than analysis. It is the better for that; this is Lawrence on a camel, thank God, not on a couch.

'Yet, correctly, as unopposed premier in this field, Wilson recognised that he must deliver on contentious points, so he pauses here and there to arbitrate.

'For me Wilson's best work is on the war years. Here his research has been prodigious, and here he justifies his case - stated in his prologue - for the mass use of contemporary documents. Cross-cutting between a wealth of sources, he creates a vivid picture of the various players on the Middle Eastern chessboard . . .

'Overall the book is fresh, vigorous and continually revealing . . . I believe that we now have the solid sheet-anchor study this subject has long required.'

Malcolm Brown

The Scotsman:

'After ten years' meticulous study of all available material, much of it new, Mr Wilson has given us what seems bound to be the definitive life of T.E. Lawrence, dealing in immense detail and, I feel, conclusively with every conceivable aspect of Lawrence's story. What is more, though eschewing what he calls 'a conspicuous prose style' of his own, he has produced a scholarly, lucid and above all readable account of a fascinating life. . .

'By devoting almost half his book to the Arab Revolt and to Lawrence's part in it, Mr Wilson has, I hope, ensured that in future greater stress will be laid on what I believe to be Lawrence's true claim to greatness and rather less on what are really not much more than secondary aspects of his story.'

Fitzroy Maclean

Kirkus Reviews, New York:

'definitive historical biography of T. E. Lawrence that strips off the romance and myth and leaves the real man shining plain.

'Wilson had a choice in his approach to Lawrence: to write a historically accurate biography, or to write a subjective, critical biography that waters (and so defeats) the historicity with speculation. He chose the facts . . .

'Wilson tells much of Lawrence's story through quotation of contemporary materials, wires, memos, letters . . . all of which spring with energy. Wilson's own writing, crisp and unornamented, moves his whole vast work at an unflagging pace . . . Lawrence himself moves through these pages as an appealing, if asexual, eccentric, a gifted solitary who glows in quotation, a superb tactician and handler of men, and a blank-staring shy man who can find real life only in fleeing the biographers, journalists, and photographers seeking him out.

'Not likely to be bettered - a fabulous life told with restraint.'

'Book Choice' ITV Channel 4, London:

'. . . there have come to be two Lawrence legends: the original hagiographic one, and a more recent one according to which he was a compulsive liar and charlatan, with a reputation that was largely bogus. Now, in Jeremy Wilson, we have a scholar who has dedicated himself to assembling all the facts, replacing both legends by a sober, meticulous, and balanced account.'

John Grigg

Sydney Morning Herald, Australia:

'He has ploughed through tangles of enigma and romance, mountains of nonsense and distortion, of praise, prejudice, malice and sensationalism, to uncover primary sources about Lawrence untapped until now. . . The result is not only the finest book yet written about Lawrence in point of sheer readability and literary merit: it is without doubt the definitive historical and biographical work . . .

'Jeremy Wilson's remarkable feat has been to recount the essence of all three [of Lawrence's] careers . . . and to show how each of them grew naturally from what went before. . . The result is a model for any author compelled to handle huge masses of complex and often contradictory material and to arrange it in coherent logical order.'

Wall Street Journal:

'Along with the story of Lawrence, Mr Wilson provides insights into the underpinnings of British foreign policy during the World War I period and shortly thereafter, especially the delicate balancing act required by a country that nurtured native nationalist movements in the Middle East while resisting them in India.'

Weekend Australian:

'Not that Mr Wilson is in awe of his subject. His is an independent mind. His reputation is based on the rare combination of ripe scholarship and good English. His lucid prose style can be mentioned in the same breath as Lawrence's masterpiece, Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

'. . .Wilson's explanations, rehabilitations and revelations are all impressive. This is a magnificent biography.'

Sunday Irish Independent:

'. . . makes it possible at long last to see T. E. Lawrence in the perspective of the history of his time and, perhaps for the first time ever, to see his historical role in the perspective of his own life.

'It is an erudite, scholarly work, but fascinatingly readable even by those who hazily assume that after the capture of Damascus, Lawrence faded into the sunset on a camel with Peter O'Toole.'

Army Defence Quarterly Journal:

'. . . Jeremy Wilson's knowledge and judgement are impressive and he writes with an elegance and clarity which Lawrence himself would most probably have applauded. To read this book today is perhaps as close as one is likely to get to understanding the remarkable subject . . .

'Perhaps the publication of this fine book may allow Lawrence's troubled spirit finally to rest in peace.'

The Argus, Capetown:

'. . . a brilliantly written and intensely interesting new study of one of the most exciting figures in recent history. . . There is no wild conjecture or make-believe in this colossal work . . . Throw away any other biographies of this man you may have on your bookshelves and make sure that if you decide to read just one book in 1990, it is this brilliant work.'

The Listener, London:

'The biography makes absorbing reading, ideal for long winter evenings . . . I had thought that I was sick to death of reading about Lawrence of Arabia, but the old magic worked its spell and now I want more . . . '

Robert Irwin

Financial Times, London:

'Jeremy Wilson's book will be indispensable for future students of Lawrence . . . '

The Middle East:

'a remarkable biography which deftly relates personal and political history to form an integrated view of T. E. Lawrence and his role in the Arab Revolt . . .

'Taken together, Lawrence of Arabia and T. E. Lawrence [Jeremy Wilson's illustrated companion volume, the catalogue of the National Portrait Gallery centenary exhibition] form a benchmark in Lawrence studies and will stimulate interest in his life for years to come.'

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