Lawrence of Arabia and His World
Thames & Hudson
In October 1917 Great Britain had been at war with Germany for three years; as part of that war she had encouraged and supported an Arab Revolt against Germany's ally Turkey.
A young Englishman, Thomas Edward Lawrence, was blowing up Turkish trains on the Damascus-Medina railway line, and rumours of his success were spreading rapidly through the scattered Arabian tribes. 'Send us a lurens', wrote the Beni Atiyeh tribe to the Emir Feisal, one of the leaders of the Revolt, 'and we will blow up trains with it.' 'Lurens' became a legend not only in Arabia, but in the west, and the story of his life has fascinated readers and writers ever since.