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Lawrence of Arabia: The Man and the Myth

4 Extra Debut. Alan Little explores the legacy of the soldier, strategist and writer who championed the Arab cause in World War One. From December 2012.

David Lean's epic film Lawrence of Arabia was premiered in London fifty years ago. It perpetuated but also critiqued the myth of TE Lawrence, the Imperial desert adventurer, and proved a turning point in the representation of the Empire on screen.

Allan Little examines the film and Lawrence's own account of his desert campaign on which it was based, Seven Pillars of Wisdom. He considers how they may be read in the light of the modern Middle East.

With archive of those who knew and served with Lawrence, recollections of his brother and his biographer, contributions from Arab scholars and Lawrence's own words, Allan Little makes a case for Lawrence as a man of great foresight - both as the 'father of guerrilla warfare' and as a strategist who championed the Arab cause.

The programme includes recordings from Jordan, where a team of archaeologists from Bristol University is currently excavating the remains of The Great Arab Revolt and Lawrence's part in it.

Producer: Susan Marling
A Just Radio production for BBC Radio 4.

Available now

58 minutes