BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Entertainment
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Showbiz 
Music 
Film 
Arts 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Reviews 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 



The BBC's Asad Ahmad
"Lady Mitchison's hope was that the book would stay in Scotland"
 real 56k

Saturday, 17 February, 2001, 16:17 GMT
Lawrence rarity sells for 18,000
Seven Pillars of Wisdom
The book was published in 1922
A rare copy of the book that inspired David Lean's classic film Lawrence of Arabia has sold for 18,000 at auction - to a last-minute mystery bidder

The Seven Pillars of Wisdom describes the experiences of TE Lawrence during the Arab Revolt in 1922. The first edition sold is one of 120 published by Lawrence at his own expense in 1922.

The book, which is signed by its previous owner, the Scottish writer Lady Naomi Mitchison, was part of a collection sold in Edinburgh on Saturday by auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull.

"The man rang the saleroom just at the moment that the book was being sold," said spokesman Phillip Gregory.

An illustration from the work
An illustration from the work
"The person who took his call literally ran upstairs to the auction room to place his bid as the hammer was coming down.

"It was a very dramatic sale.

"The buyer said he had only heard about the sale on a radio bulletin this morning."

Lawrence was one of the most mysterious and glamorous figures of his time.

His exploits in the Hejaz, as described in The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, involved him posing as an Arab and leading a column of Arab fighters, with much reckless courage.

Motorcycle death

Lawrence wrote of his capture by the Turks, of their failure to recognise him, and his stunning escape.

The War Office in London was gratified by the admiration he evoked amongst the public but was also embarrassed by his ambiguous role.

Peter O'Toole starred as Lawrence in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia.

Lawrence died in a motorcycle crash in 1935.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

02 Feb 98 | Despatches
Lawrence of the Secret Service?
05 Jun 00 | Middle East
Pilgrim railway back on track
04 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Golden Oldie prize for O'Toole
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories