Seven Pillars of Wisdom is the autobiographical account of the experiences of British soldier T. E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia"), while serving as a liaison officer with rebel forces during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turks of 1916 to 1918.
Charles Hill has called the Seven Pillars "a novel traveling under the cover of autobiography," capturing Lawrence's highly personal version of the historical events described in the book.
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About the Author
Lawrence was born illegitimately in Tremadog, Wales, in August 1888 to Sir Thomas Chapman and Sarah Junner, a governess who was herself illegitimate. Chapman had left his wife and first family in Ireland to live with Sarah Junner, and they called themselves Mr and Mrs Lawrence. In the summer of 1896 the Lawrences moved to Oxford, where in 1907–10 young Lawrence studied history at Jesus College, graduating with First Class Honours. He became a practicing archaeologist in the Middle East, working at various excavations with David George Hogarth and Leonard Woolley. In 1908 he joined the OUOTC (Oxford University Officer Training Corps), undergoing a two-year training course. In January 1914, before the outbreak of World War I, Lawrence was co-opted by the British military to undertake a military survey of the Negev Desert while doing archaeological research.
Lawrence's public image was due in part to American journalist Lowell Thomas' sensationalised reportage of the revolt as well as to Lawrence's autobiographical account, Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1922).