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Lawrence of Arabia’s Secret Dispatches during the Arab Revolt, 1915–1919 (Hardback)

WWI 1915 1916 1917 1918 20th Century Military

By Fabrizio Bagatti
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 272
Illustrations: 20 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781399010184
Published: 2nd June 2021


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T. E. Lawrence’s dispatches during the Arab Revolt have been published before, but only in an edited and incomplete form, as they were printed for a strictly limited wartime readership in the Arab Bulletin. Now, in this scholarly edition, they are published in full for the first time. They give us a direct inside view of his dealings with the Arab leaders and show us how he presented them to his superiors in Cairo. These wartime writings reveal vividly his impressions of the periods he spent in the desert and the conditions he found there, and they record how the Arab uprising developed and how he became increasingly involved in it. They make fascinating reading for, in his sometimes outspoken way, he reported on the military potential of the Arab fighters and recommended how they should be supported in their struggle against the Ottoman empire.

This new collection of his dispatches is a valuable addition to the literature on Lawrence for it allows readers to trace the course of the revolt as he wrote about it at the time. They are printed in chronological order with full explanatory notes. The editor Fabrizio Bagatti provides a perceptive introduction which sets them in their wartime context, fills in the military and political background to the strategic situation in the Middle East and describes Lawrence’s important role as an intermediary between the Arabs and the British.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

While T. E. Lawrence's dispatches have been published before, I didn't know they existed until I came across this book on NetGalley. They are presented in chronological order with incredibly useful notes to help the reader's understanding. For those who tend to skip introductions: Don't! Fabrizio Bagatti's introduction really helps with the context and gives a much clearer picture of what is to follow. A perfect presentation of important history.

NetGalley, Dawn Lewis

About Fabrizio Bagatti

Fabrizio Bagatti is Professor of Literary Translation at the Università degli Studi Internazionali in Rome and a former chief editor at Giunti Publishing Group in Florence. Among his many translations from English to Italian are works by R.L. Stevenson, Herman Melville, Joseph Conrad, Stephen Crane, Charles Dickens and T.E. Lawrence. He has had a long-standing interest in Lawrence’s life and writings and his recent research into Lawrence’s desert dispatches led to this first complete publication of them.

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