Lawrence of Arabia: A Biographical Enquiry

Lawrence of Arabia: A Biographical Enquiry

Lawrence of Arabia: A Biographical Enquiry

Lawrence of Arabia: A Biographical Enquiry

Excerpt

My dear Alister,

You will remember how startled I was when you suggested that I should gratify your admiration for a hero by writing a life of Lawrence of Arabia. I pointed out my unfitness for the task, the enormous amount of work involved, my lack of enthusiasm for military heroes, and above all the fact that Lawrence's life has been written over and over again. What more would there be to say? With that grace of persuasion which few are able to resist you re- marked that after the astonishing and unwelcome revolutions of the past fifteen years some new appraisal of Lawrence might be acceptable. And had I not found the Duke of Wellington a far more interesting and attractive character than I had expected? That was true, and I started on my task with doubts of my ability to perform it worthily but certainly with the hope of investigating a hero and his deeds.

In Part III of this book you will find in more detail the account of my investigations into Lawrence's assertion that in 1922. and again in 1925 (when he was a private in the Tanks) he had been offered the post of High Commissioner for Egypt. On investigation I came to the conclusion that this claim was unfounded. I thought it well to obtain the evidence of those most likely to know the truth, and therefore applied to a former Cabinet Minister, Mr. Amery, to the present Lord Lloyd (son of the man actually appointed by the Cabinet as High Commissioner when Lord Allenby resigned) and to Lawrence's friend, Sir Ronald Storrs, who was Governor of Jerusalem after the first war. They were unanimous in dismissing the claim as highly improbable . . .

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