Exhausted Lawrence in Damascus

This picture shows Colonel T E Lawrence on the balcony of the Victoria Hotel in Damascus on 3 October 1918, half an hour after he had resigned his position in the Arab Army.

Lawrence's career and interests give little hint of the complexity of his character. Even his own writings give little guidance: though at first sight masterpieces of clarity, they are as contradictory as the facts of his life. Who was the real Lawrence? The enthusiastic student on archaeological digs? The desert leader? The great literary figure who wrote The Seven Pillars of Wisdom? The man obsessed with motorcycles and motor craft? Or the man who, in despair, sought peace through anonymity "in a brain-sleep" in the Army and Air Force? No one has yet decided for sure.

Image courtesy of Imperial War Museum

Lawrence and His Legacy

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by Stephen Luscombe