Saturday, May 20, 2006

New Evidence Dismissing T.E. Lawrence's Rape Charges

An interesting investigation into whether or not the Turks tortured & raped Lawrence. Further, and probably more important, whether or not he was betrayed by an Arab. The evidence seems a tad slight to me. Since we only have his word that the incident occurred, this more "on the spot" bit of information may carry more weight. The political motivations for attributing his betrayal to an Arab are interesting. There are several fairly recent histories of Lawrance and the desert war. Time to track one down.


Nylarthotep said...

If that is the evidence that they have to provide to disprove Lawrence's word, I'm going to remain sceptical. That is about as thin as I've ever heard. The letter "A" showing up on some test. Not that that letter couldn't have come from any other word or written at any time doesn't appear to have any reality here.

As for his sexual deviance, I'd say that the WWI descriptions of sexual deviance by other British soldiers don't provide evidence of anything either. Well, maybe that the British had some repressed and odd tastes.

The evidence for the actual occurance is pretty much non-existent. The conjecture that Lawrence had a motive to smear an arab for betraying him has some validity and was seen even in his day.

I guess a modern history of Lawrence would be interesting. I've read his book and another contemporary history of him. He still did a great deal to benefit the Arabs and the British empire in his day. It's sad that everyone seems to remember him for being buggered in Syria.

Granted said...

It's actually strange how that stands out. From everything I've read about him (I tried reading his book, but it's written as badly or worse than I'd write), he was actually a pretty fascinating character. I think it's the "great people have feet of clay" syndrome at work. The issue these days seems to be that we can only focus on the short comings of individuals, not on their accomplishments and their short comings.