In T. E. Lawrence: Tormented Hero, Andrew Norman sheds new light on Lawrence of Arabia that remains a mystery to this day. Lawrence’s sexual orientation is discussed in detail, including his dislike of physical relationships and it is suggested that he suffered from sexual aversion disorder. Evidence that he was beaten on several occasions at his own request comes from several sources and appears to be irrefutable. New light is shed on his fatal motorcycle crash in May 1935 and evidence is presented that it occurred in a different location and manner to that which is generally supposed. Photographs taken at the time are compared with the present day topography of the site to support this entirely new theory.
Other aspects of his life which are discussed include his relationship with his parents, notably his problematical relationship with his mother Sarah; his role in the Arab Revolt and subsequent disillusionment; his friendship with some of the literati of the day including E. M. Forster, George Bernard Shaw and Robert Graves; his love for and veneration of Thomas Hardy; how Shaws wife, Charlotte, became his confidant; and how he took Lady Astor pillion riding on his motorcycle.
Andrew Norman was born in Newbury, Berkshire, in 1943. Having been educated in Zimbabwe and Oxford, he qualified in medicine at the Radcliffe Infirmary. From 1972 to 1983, Norman worked as a general practitioner in Dorset before a spinal injury cut short his medical career. He is now an established writer whose published works include biographies of Thomas Hardy, Adolf Hitler, Agatha Christie, Enid Blyton, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Mugabe and Charles Darwin.