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Lawrence in Fragments

Recovering Lawrence of Arabia through the Jeremy Wilson Archive

T E. Lawrence took on many roles in his lifetime – archaeologist, soldier, writer, strategist, government adviser, R.A.F. aircraftman, daredevil, motorcyclist, cultivator of the great and the good, friend of ordinary people, recluse, celebrity, quintessential Englishman, Oxford don, “Uncrowned King of Arabia”, covert colonialist, independence fighter, friend of men, confidant of women, “the world’s imp”, depressed, repressed, political agitator, voracious reader, old-fashioned Edwardian, patron of Modernist artists, designer of one of Britain’s most unconventional homes at Clouds Hill, national hero and international figure of controversy, to name only a few.

Magdalen College claims connection to T.E. Lawrence through his four years as a Senior Demy (postgraduate) at the College from 1910-1914. In 2018, Magdalen acquired both the papers of David George Hogarth (1862-1926), Magdalen Fellow and Lawrence’s mentor, and the papers of Jeremy Wilson (1944-2017), Lawrence’s authorised biographer.

This exhibition explores how these collections present Lawrence through fragmentary pieces. The Wilson collection is both a monumental structure and heterogeneous assemblage of Lawrence-related items from photographs to manuscript facsimiles to audio recordings and fan scrapbooks. Wilson’s collection of over 50 years of research offers many glimpses of different Lawrences, sometimes amusing, often poignant and occasionally shocking…








This exhibition will be on display in the Old Library, Magdalen College, Oxford on Wednesday afternoons 2-4:30pm from 26th July to 13th December 2023. See visiting information here.