Spartacus Review

Volume 34: 24th June, 2009


Title: Lawrence of Arabia

Author: Malcolm Brown


Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Price: £14.95

Bookshop: Amazon

Spartacus Website: T. E. Lawrence


T. E. Lawrence was the first modern celebrity and since his death the almost mythic figure of the man on a camel enacting a heroic dream has captured the imagination of each succeeding generation. Now, seventy years from Lawrence’s death, this visual biography takes us inside the mind of a man of extraordinary energy, ability and charisma who seemed to have everything in his hands only to throw it away, turning the rest of his life into an obsessive quest for anonymity and sanctuary, culminating in a motorbike crash and death at the age of only forty six. In this wonderfully illustrated book, the drama unfolds in Lawrence’s own atmospheric photographs, haunting paintings of the desert and its peoples, evocative drawings and ephemera, all supported by quotations from his personal account of his experiences.

Title: Book of Imperial and Commonwealth Obituaries



Publisher: Frontline Books

Price: £19.99

Bookshop: Amazon

Spartacus Website: British History


For this new collection, David Twiston-Davies has selected the most fascinating Imperial and Commonwealth obituaries published in The Daily Telegraph over the last twenty years. Many senior representatives of the imperial high noon had passed on by the mid-1980s but there were still some remarkable figures who would have been recognisable to Queen Victoria, such as Sir Rex Niven of Nigeria. There are a host of colourful diplomats such as Sir Michael Weir, the British ambassador in Egypt, who started out as a resident in Arab states and was responsible for escorting a sheikh to the Queen's Coronation in 1953. Other figures featured are Michael Thwaites, the Australian poet, naval officer and Communist spycatcher; Dane Eugenia Charles, the Dominician Prime Minister known as 'The Iron Lady of the Caribbean'; Desmond O'Hagan, the Kenyan district officer who kept a pet elephant and the Earl of Egmont, an Alberta farm boy whose father inherited '300,000 in 1929 and who came over to live in Britain.