TE Lawrence in france, 1908

In the summer holiday of 1908, between his first and second year at university, the Young TE Lawrence decided to cycle for 2500 miles around France. It was a monumental undertaking, which lasted some 50 days, in which he visited more than 50 abbeys, cathedrals and medieval castles. He travelled alone, heading down the eastern side of France to Provence, reaching the Mediterranean to great excitment at a walled town called Aigues Mortes. Then, via Carcassonne he wound his way north through western France until he came to the Loire, before contiuing to Dinard and St Malo.

He undertook the trip largely as research for his undergraduate thesis, taking photographs where there were no good post-cards to buy and by the end of the trip he was satisfied he had collected the material he needed, only for his subject to develop, to include the Crusader castles of the Middle East (which led to his walk in Syria and Lebanon in 1909).

My 2019 Journey

For this Young Lawrence project I will be cycling the 1908 journey in 2020.