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Thomas Edward Lawrence
Related: Arabia - UK
Unconventional sexual tastesCertain passages in Lawrence's writing, supplemented by reportage from a military colleague whom Lawrence hired to give him beatings, make it clear that he had unconventional sexual tastes, notably masochism. While his writings include one notably homoerotic passage, the details of his sexual orientation and experience remain unknown. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_of_Arabia [Aug 2004]
John BruceAugust 15, 1888 The British archaeologist, author and colonial agent Thomas Edward Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, is born in Tremadoc (Wales). 1917, Lawrence was captured by Turkish soldiers in Deraa, raped several times, and beaten with a cane. After his return to England, he paid the Scotsman John Bruce for years to whip him on a regular base, as Bruce told the ???Sunday Times“ in 1968. Lawrence dies at May 19, 1935 after a motorbike accident. (DeBlase, Anthony: ???Leather History Timeline“. 4. edn., The Leather Archives & Museum, Chicago 1999) (dtv Lexikon München 1999) (Wilson, Jeremy: ???The Mint: T.E. Lawrence“, Penguin 1978, p. 750-751, 873.) -- source unkown
The files also show a further set of payments of nine pennies (3p) a day, again lasting over a year, to Lawrence's "minder" John Bruce, a Scottish man he had befriended in London in the early 1920s. --http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2013285.stm [Aug 2004]
John Bruce sold a long document about his friendship with Lawrence to the London Sunday Times, and swore on oath that it was true. However, it contains some huge and obvious inventions, for example that Bruce and Lawrence had spied together in Afghanistan. Therefore, one can only risk believing Bruce where his testimony is confirmed by facts or third parties. On that basis we know that he did indeed administer occasional beatings in the post-war years - but we can't be sure about much else. --http://www.telstudies.org/analysis/asher008.htm [Aug 2004]
The Erotica Bibliophile [...]
August 15, 1888 – The British archaeologist, author and colonial agent Thomas Edward Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, is born in Tremadoc (Wales). In 1917, Lawrence was captured by Turkish soldiers in Deraa, raped several times, and beaten with a cane. After his return to England, he paid the Scotsman John Bruce for years to whip him on a regular base, as Bruce told the "Sunday Times" in 1968. Lawrence dies at May 19, 1935 after a motorbike accident. --Sheryl Straight, The Erotica Bibliophile http://www.eroticabibliophile.com/people19.html [Aug 2004]
Manuscript reveals dark side of Lawrence of Arabia's sex life
An unexpurgated version of T E Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom has fuelled claims that the author was a sado-masochist.
The original 1922 edition of the wartime masterpiece to be published next month includes a lengthy account of Lawrence of Arabia's rape by Turkish forces which scholars believe may have been invented for his own "delectation".
Much of Lawrence's life is the subject of debate but signs of his alleged sexual deviancy first emerged when letters showed he paid a man to beat him with birches. Philip Knightley, a Lawrence expert, believes the rape scene in the latest version, which is 200 pages longer than the 1926 original, bears the hallmarks of a fantasist.
He said: "It was so redolent of the sort of sado-masochistic literature that you get in the Charing Cross Road. It sort of cried out that this is Lawrence writing for his own interest and delectation.
"Lawrence continued these sado-masochistic practises with the help of a man called John Bruce. Bruce was paid to birch Lawrence and then write an account of Lawrence's bearing under the birching. The letters were collected by Lawrence who read them again and got two kicks for his buck, so to speak." -- Matthew Beard, 31 January 2004, http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/books/news/story.jsp?story=486275 [Aug 2004]
The Complete 1922 "Seven Pillars of Wisdom": 'The Oxford Text' - T.E. Lawrence
The Complete 1922 "Seven Pillars of Wisdom": 'The Oxford Text' - T.E. Lawrence [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
From the Inside Flap
Seven Pillars of Wisdom - the complete 1922 text
The shortened revision of Seven Pillars of Wisdom published after Lawrence's death quickly became a world classic. Far more than a war memoir, it is remarkable for its descriptions of people and scenery and its insights into a leader's mind.
'The story I have to tell,' Lawrence once said, 'is one of the most splendid ever given a man for writing.' Yet at its heart are profound dilemmas about personal responsibility, patriotic duty and imperial rule.
Before the First World War, Lawrence was an Oxford-educated archaeologist working in the Middle East. In 1915 he was posted as an intelligence officer to Cairo. The following year, the Sherif of Mecca rebelled against the Turks. Lawrence then found himself working as a liaison officer with the rebel forces, often far behind enemy lines.
He knew from the outset that the Arab Revolt might not, as the British had promised, be rewarded with self-rule. Nevertheless, as British representative he had to repeat the promise, and he witnessed the consequences. He developed tactics that minimised Arab casualties. Later, he would refuse to accept honours for his wartime role. At the post-war Peace Conference he did everything in his power to advance the Arab cause.
This 1922 'Oxford' Seven Pillars is a third longer than the shortened text which became so famous. It contains numerous incidents, descriptions and reflections omitted from the abridgement. Neither Lawrence nor his literary friends could decide which version was better. He gave the manuscript of this fuller text to the Bodleian Library in Oxford. It was first published in a limited edition in 1997, seventy-five years after it was written.
From the Back Cover
Master-text of a world classic
This 'Oxford' Seven Pillars was the source-text from which Lawrence abridged the book for a fine-press volume issued to subscribers. After his death, the subscribers' abridgement was published in English and in numerous translations. Its success was so huge that, despite pleas from critics and historians, no one would risk printing the fuller version.
'The work is a masterpiece: one of the few best of its kind in the world' - Bernard Shaw, 1923, writing about the Oxford text to Stanley Baldwin.
'...the "Oxford" is in the judgment of several critics even superior to the version offered now, and it is good news that a reprint of it may eventually be made.' - E.M. Forster, 1935, in a review of the subscribers' abridgement.
'If Seven Pillars interests you as history, or travel literature or autobiography, read the Oxford text. It's a third longer than the subscribers' abridgement and contains all kinds of things you won't find there.' - Jeremy Wilson, T.E. Lawrence's authorised biographer and editor of this edition.
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