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Biography



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Page updated May 2012

Outline chronology: 1919




Youth |1914 | 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1919 | 1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923 | 1924 | 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1929 | 1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934 | 1935


January 1919

On 9 January, Lawrence arrives in Paris for the Peace Conference. The British position over the Middle East is hopelessly compromised by conflicting wartime promises, and by the desire of the Imperial Government of India to colonise Mesopotamia. Lawrence remains until mid-May, arguing for Arab freedom in many private meetings with statesmen and journalists. As the pace slows he begins to write Seven Pillars of Wisdom, completing Books 27 and Book 10.

February 1919

On 6 February Lawrence accompanies Feisal to a meeting of the Council of Ten for a formal statement of the Arab position.

March 1919

On 20 March President Wilson suggests that an inter-Allied commission should visit the Middle East, to determine the wishes of the inhabitants. The plan is opposed vehemently by the French and the Zionist lobby. Later in the month Lawrence is asked to arrange a private meeting between Feisal and Clemenceau.

April 1919

On 7 April, Lawrence's father dies in Oxford, and he has to make two brief trips home during the following week. In mid-April Feisal and Clemenceau meet but, as anticipated, they do not reach a satisfactory agreement. A few days later Feisal leaves for Damascus to prepare for the arrival of the inter-Allied Commission.

May 1919

In mid-May Lawrence joins a squadron of Handley-Page bombers on their way to Egypt. On 17 May his plane crashes at Rome aerodrome: there are two deaths, but Lawrence escapes with a broken collarbone. On 29 May he leaves Rome with his arm in plaster.

June 1919

Lawrence flies south in easy stages via Taranto, Athens, and Crete. He arrives in Cairo on 28 June and stays for a few days only, making notes for Seven Pillars from files at the Arab Bureau.

July 1919

Back in Paris, Lawrence finds that the British commitment to the Arabs has weakened considerably in the face of hostility from both France and the Government of India. With nothing to do in Paris, he goes to Oxford to take up a Research Fellowship at All Souls College. He remains there until early December, working on Seven Pillars. At around this time, he buys land at Pole Hill in Essex, bordering Epping Forest, where he and a friend plan to set up a private press.

August 1919

The American journalist Lowell Thomas begins giving popular lectures in London that will transform Lawrence into a  national hero. The show opens for a brief season at the Royal Opera House, but it is so successful that it is then transferred to the Royal Albert Hall (October) and later to The Queen's Hall. It then tours the provinces. 

September 1919

Britain announces plans to evacuate Syria, leaving Feisal's Arab administration in Damascus to work out a modus vivendi with the French, who have already taken direct control in what is now Lebanon.

November 1919

In Late November, while Lawrence is changing trains at Reading during a journey from Camberley to Oxford, the bag in which he is carrying his draft of Seven Pillars it is stolen. The manuscript is never recovered.

December 1919

Lawrence moves to Barton Street in Westminster and during the following weeks hurriedly rewrites from memory a new draft of Seven Pillars.





Youth |1914 | 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1919 | 1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923 | 1924 | 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1929 | 1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934 | 1935



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