Another Life : Lawrence After Arabia
'There was a craving to be famous; and a horror of being known to like being famous.' Lawrence's confession sums up so much of this book. The story of his remarkable life after the horror, grandeur and ultimate betrayal of the Arabian adventure is one of headlong flight from fame. Why did one of the most famous military heroes of the First World War become Aircraftsman 2nd Class Ross, an erk, an AC plonk, a nobody? And when this hiding place was exposed, Private Shaw of the Tank Corps? Then it was back to the RAF, still without rank insignia, whilst Churchill offered him exalted diplomatic positions and Nancy Astor implored him to re-enter the fray as the Nazi threat grew.
Yet this 'other life' was in fact amazingly productive, producing Seven Pillars of Wisdom, The Mint - a controversial inside story of the RAF - and a translation of the Odyssey. Simultaneously, Lawrence made significant contributions to the development of marine rescue craft and the understanding of ground effect. With interviews of people who knew Lawrence and study of primary sources, Andrew Simpson explores the later life and mysterious death of one of the most charismatic figures of the 20th century.