THE MURDER OF LAWRENCE OF ARABIA by Matthew Eden

THE MURDER OF LAWRENCE OF ARABIA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This semi-documentary speculation concocts a possible (not plausible) explanation for T. E. Lawrence's motorcycle-accident death shortly after his release from the RAF in 1935. Short, sodomite, a publicity hound, guilty over what he sees as his role in selling the Arabs down the river after World War I, Lawrence retires to a Dorset cottage at loose ends. The ends are promptly picked up by Jordan's king, Abdullah, who dispatches a messenger to Lawrence with an offer: return and lead the Arabs in a concentrated drive to rid Palestine of the everincreasing number of Jewish settlers. The Irgun, getting word of this, sends its own agents to England; they plan to kidnap the Arab courier, have him confess the plan, and thereby embarrass the British government into admitting its proArab stance, using Lawrence as its symbol. When British Intelligence hears about both vectors converging, it gets sucked into the mess as well and decides to eliminate the main stress point: Lawrence. Eden's repetitive scenes--Arabs, Irgun, British government reacting serially and predictably to each other's moves--can be bothersome, as can Lawrence's stuffed-owl responses to his memories while big things brew around him. But the plot will provide a sliver of tart, serviceable intrigue for patient and undemanding fans of fanciful conspiracy dramas.

Pub Date: March 28th, 1979
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell