Thomas Edward Lawrence (1888-1935) was born in Wales and educated at Jesus and Magdalen Colleges, Oxford. He was commissioned on the outbreak of the First World War and in 1917 was officially attached to the staff of the Hejaz expeditionary force, under General Wingate. After the war, Lawrence was Advisor on Arab Affairs in the Middle Eastern Division of the Colonial Office. In 1927, embarrassed with the 'Lawrence of Arabia' legend, he changed his name by deed poll to Shaw'. In addition to Seven Pillars of Wisdom, of which Lawrence lost almost the whole manuscript at Reading station in 1919, he wrote Revolt in the Desert (1927) and The Odyssey of Homer (1935), a translation in prose.
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