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Biography pages:

Who was 'Lawrence of Arabia'

Introductory biography

T. E. Lawrence as writer

Chronology of Lawrence's life




Memorials to Lawrence

Some quotations

T. E. Lawrence manuscripts

Books dedicated to Lawrence

Research and discussion

The state of T.E. Lawrence scholarship

Rejected legend

David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia


About this site

Cookies policy

References used on the site


Jeremy Wilson


Page updated May 2012


We are often asked the source of Lawrence quotations. Here are some of the most frequent.

Do not try to do too much with your own hands. Better the Arabs do it tolerably than that you do it perfectly. It is their war, and you are to help them, not to win it for them. Actually, also, under the very odd conditions of Arabia, your practical work will not be as good as, perhaps, you think it is.

'Twenty-Seven Articles', Arab Bulletin, 20 August 1917
Complete text >>>

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.

Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Suppressed introductory chapter, first published 1939
Complete chapter >>>

You wonder what I am doing? Well, so do I, in truth. Days seem to dawn, suns to shine, evenings to follow, and then I sleep. What I have done, what I am doing, what I am going to do, puzzle and bewilder me. Have you ever been a leaf and fallen from your tree in autumn and been really puzzled about it? That's the feeling.

Letter to Eric Kennington, 6 May 1935
Complete letter >>>

I loved you, so I drew these tides of men into my hands
and wrote my will across the sky in stars
To earn you Freedom

The opening lines of the dedication to Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Complete dedication >>>

The sword also means clean-ness and death

Letter to Eric Kennington, 27 October 1922
Complete Letter >>>

Incorporated by Eric Kennington in the crossed-daggers design on the cover of the first public edition of Seven Pillars of Wisdom, 1935.

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