Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Lawrence Of Arabia: The Authorized Biography of T.E. Lawrence” as Want to Read:
Lawrence Of Arabia: The Authorized Biography of T.E. Lawrence
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Lawrence Of Arabia: The Authorized Biography of T.E. Lawrence

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  323 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
The unabridged edition was selected by The New York Times as one of the six best nonfiction books of 1990. Now this critically acclaimed biography--abridged by the author--offers a portrait of the legendary modern-day knight, Arab revolt leader, British secret agent and World War I military genius. 32 pages of photographs.
Paperback, Abridged By The Author, 544 pages
Published April 1st 1992 by Collier Books (first published November 1989)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Lawrence Of Arabia, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Lawrence Of Arabia

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I suppose, that in one sense, one has to be really interested in T.E. Lawrence to enjoy all 915 pages of this massive biography; I am, and I did. For those interested in a contemporary history of the Revolt in the Desert, I would recommend Scott Anderson's excellent Lawrence in Arabia. This biography is devoted to Chapman/Lawrence/Ross/Shaw the man, from beginning to end, and is particularly interesting for its treatment of his later life and work during his post-war stints in the R.A.F. and the ...more
Sep 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935), best known as Lawrence of Arabia, was an enigmatic and perplexing man who undoubtedly was plagued with intermittent depression and, despite his fame, strong self-doubt. He had ample opportunity to gain fame and money but was indifferent to both. Jermey Wilson's 1989 biography, using letters to and from Lawrence and British Army documents until recently not available, provides an amazing amount of detail to this troubled soul and his unusual life.
Lawrence was an archa
Jim Good
Dec 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Details the history of Lawrence of Arabia including his childhood, leading the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire, and his time in the air force following the war. The biography is exceedingly detailed, but does not draw any conclusions instead relying on the facts and letting the readers draw their own conclusions. Interesting details include Lawrence’s masochistic behavior (paying others to beat him up), his reclusive ness and unwillingness to use his fame following the war, and his insigh ...more
Aug 25, 2007 rated it liked it
Pretty good, but too long, and the author thinks too highly of himself.
Debra J.
Jan 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Very satisfying in -depth look at the real Lawrence of Arabia. An amazing man.
John Nelson
Jul 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an extremely long and thorough biography of T.E. Lawrence - better known as Lawrence of Arabia. The author had access both to Lawrence's private papers as well as the British government's official papers on his exploits, which inexplicably were kept under security seal for 50 years. These resources show in the level of detail included in the book and the extensive citations backing it up.

The book is less successful in answering what seems to me to be the most interesting question raised
Laurence Burke
Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Those who only know T.E. Lawrence from the famous movie "Lawrence of Arabia" will find that there is much more to the man than his role in the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. Lawrence was establishing himself as an archaeologist in the years before the war and traveled in literary circles in the years following the war.

A blurb on the dust-jacket says, "This is Lawrence on a camel, not on a couch." That seems to sum this up nicely: Lawrence's actions are the cen
Jim Kelsh
This book has been on my shelf for over 25 years and I finally decided to tackle it.
It's very heavy lifting (at almost 1200 pages, pardon the pun). There is no single aspect of T. E Lawrence's life not minutely covered in toto. I was to page 400 before encountering the first scene from the movie.
Authorized biography or not, it needed a editor.
One big takeaway I got from it resonates with our world today. Much of Lawrence's best work was trying to make sense and order from the nomadic Arab trib
Apr 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
The book has three parts. I read the first two parts from the original, nearly 700 pages of meticulous Middle East history and very little bio of the man. I finished by reading the last section from the abridged version. The author admitted his original should probably be considered more of a middle east history than a biography of Lawrence: every treaty, memo, letter, and military personality is quoted extensively. I also felt like it paraphrased Lawrence's own Seven Pillars of Wisdom book so f ...more
3.5 stars. Very, very long, very thorough bio of TE Lawrence, which devoted a lot of pages to his life after WWI and the peace conference. Very good on the effects his war time rape had on the rest of his life. Very balanced thoughtful work. Some parts dragged. 2.5 months is a very long time for me to be reading any single book (if I'm actively reading it), although I did put it down here and there. Wish it had been split into 2 volumes as it is very heavy. Unfortunately not available as an eboo ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Prince of Our Disorder: The Life of T.E. Lawrence
  • The Mint (Modern Classics)
  • Hannibal (Military Library)
  • Setting the Desert on Fire: T. E. Lawrence and Britain's Secret War in Arabia, 1916-1918
  • Wellington: The Years of the Sword
  • Henry VIII
  • Edward I
  • Lion of Jordan: The Life of King Hussein in War and Peace
  • Desert War: The North African Campaign 1940-43
  • Frederick II: A Medieval Emperor
  • The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House
  • Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Frederick the Great: King of Prussia
  • Moshe Dayan
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game & the Race for Empire in Central Asia
  • King John
  • The Revolutionist
Jeremy Wilson (1944 – 2 April 2017) was a British historian, biographer, writer, editor and was acknowledged as the leading authority on T. E. Lawrence.
More about Jeremy Wilson...