Young Lawrence: A Portrait of the Legend as a Young Man, with Anthony Sattin

Anthony Sattin, award-winning novelist, broadcaster, biographer & travel writer

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With his splendid new book hot-off-the-press (signed copies available at a knock-down Ebenezer price), Anthony Sattin will uncover the little-known mystery of T E Lawrence's early years and help us to understand the evolution of one of the most beguiling figures of the modern age.

Who was the mysterious but brilliantly charismatic young archeologist who became known as Lawrence of Arabia? And why, in the summer of 1914, did he burn the only manuscript of a book he had written about his adventures in the Middle East in the years leading up to WWI? What was the story he wanted to conceal from the world?

Sattin will discuss the secret behind Lawrence’s birth, his tortuous relationship with his dominant mother, his deep affection for an Arab boy, the intimate details of the extraordinary journeys he made, and the personal reasons that drove him from being a student to becoming an archaeologist (for several years before 1914, Lawrence worked as an archaeologist on the Hittite site at Karkemish on the Turkish-Syrian border) and then a spy.

Young Lawrence is the first book to focus on the story of T. E. Lawrence in his twenties, before the war, during the period he looked back on as his golden years. Using first-hand sources, museum records and Foreign Office documents, Sattin sets these adventures against the background of corrosive conflicts in Libya and the Balkans. He shows the simmering defiance of Arabs, Armenians and Kurds under Turkish domination, while uncovering the story of an exceptional young man searching for happiness, love and his place in the world - until war and great fame changed his life forever.

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Anthony Sattin

Anthony is a British journalist and broadcaster and the author of several highly acclaimed books of history and travel. He completed a literature degree at the University of Warwick and an MA in creative writing at the University of East Anglia. His main area of interest is the Middle East and Africa, particularly Egypt, and he has lived and travelled extensively in these regions.

Sattin's books (link to...) include The Pharaoh's Shadow, Shooting the Breeze, Lifting the Veil, The Gates of Africa, and A Winter on the Nile: Florence Nightingale, Gustave Flaubert and the Temptations of Egypt, which was described as 'a triumph of the historical imagination' and chosen by several papers as one of their books of the year. He discovered and edited Florence Nightingale's previously unpublished letters from Egypt and has edited I, which is sometimes used as a set text for teaching English A-level.

Sattin has been a long-time regular contributor to the Sunday Times travel and books pages and to Conde Nast Traveller where he is a contributing editor. His work appears frequently in a number of other international publication, including The Daily Telegraph, the Independent and Guardian (see articles) and The Spectator (articles). He sits on the editorial advisory board of Geographical Magazine and has contributed to several guidebook series, including the Lonely Planet volumes on Egypt and Algeria.

2014Martin Keeley