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DateLecture
12 March 2020LAWRENCE OF ARABIA: EXCAVATING A LEGEND
23 April 2020MODERN ART AND THE OLD MASTERS
14 May 2020THE GENIUS OF BEETHOVEN
11 June 2020PARADISE LOST AND FOUND: 400 YEARS OF GARDEN DESIGN IN OXFORDSHIRE

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LAWRENCE OF ARABIA: EXCAVATING A LEGEND Dr Neil Faulkner Thursday 12 March 2020

 

‘Lawrence of Arabia’ is an early 20th century instance of celebrity culture.  But is the Lawrence legend merely a myth - was he, as some claim, no more than a liar and a charlatan?   Or does the legend reflect reality? Was he, in fact, a brilliant military commander and a sincere advocate of the Arab national cause?

On the basis of sensational new evidence from archaeological fieldwork, this lecture will contrast the legend of Lawrence of Arabia with the true story of what happened in the famous desert war of 1916 to 1918. We will analyse the invention and re-invention of the legend from 1919 onwards through memoirs, photos, films, paintings, biographies, and documentaries. We will then contrast the legend with the biography of the man himself, focusing on key aspects of his early years and his character, and using archaeology as the basis for a detailed examination of the role which made him famous – his participation in the Arab Revolt of 1916 to 1918.

 

Dr Neil Faulkner was educated at King's College Cambridge and Institute of Archaeology UCL.   He works as lecturer, writer, archaeologist and occasional broadcaster.  A Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, he is also  Editor of  Military History Monthly,  Director of the  Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project, and Director of the ‘Great Arab Revolt’ Project.   Neil has written a number of books, and his TV appearances include Channel 4's Time Team, BBC2's Timewatch, Channel Five's Boudica Revealed and Sky Atlantic's The British.