Seven Pillars of Wisdom

T. E. Lawrence

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Illustrated edition of T. E. Lawrence's memoir, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, that recounts his pivotal role in leading part of the Arab revolt against the Ottoman empire during World War I. With the Ottoman empire aligning with Germany and the Central Powers, Britain aimed to incite a successful uprising to divert Ottoman efforts in the war. Promising the Arabs recognition of a unified state, Lawrence rallied historically fragmented Arab leaders to support Britain's agenda in the region. His memoir blends elements of travelogue, philosophical discourse, and action-packed narrative, chronicling his two-year engagement, intricate relationships with Arab leaders and comrades, and inner reflections amid uncertainties. This gripping saga, immortalized by the film 'Lawrence of Arabia', was hailed by Winston Churchill as an unparalleled 'narrative of war and adventure'. The manuscript's journey is as intricate as the tale it tells. Lawrence initially penned a draft in 1919, only to lose most of it during a train journey in England. Undeterred, he reconstructed it from memory the following year, resulting in a version sixty percent longer than the original. Despite subsequent edits, the final draft remained significantly expanded. Lawrence distributed eight copies to friends for review, learning from past mishaps. Following encouragement, he refined a publishable version, releasing an initial edition in 1926 with 125 illustrations by sixteen artists. Although this edition incurred losses, it stands as the sole publication during Lawrence's lifetime, preserving the essence of the first edition alongside its original illustrations.

This book has 254,175 words, 532 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1926.

Production notes: This ebook of Seven Pillars of Wisdom was published by Global Grey in 2021, and updated on the 17th February 2024. The artwork used for the cover is 'Sandstorm in the Libyan Desert' by Max Slevogt.

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