A new edition of the classic text on Crusader castles and their relation to the military architecture of the West, written by T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia) while still an undergraduate at Oxford in 1910. At the end of the nineteenth century, it was generally assumed that these castles were the prototype for the massive buildings erected in Northern France and England in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Lawrence opposed this view: unlike most earlier writers on the
subject, he was already familiar with castles in England, Wales, France and Syria as a result of a series of expeditions made on bicycle or foot, culminating in 1909 in a three-and-a-half month walking tour of the Levant. Although his thesis was to guarantee him a first-class degree in Modern
History, its impact on scholarship was slower to take effect. The typescript remained virtually unknown until 1936, a year after the author's death, when it appeared in a limited edition of the Golden Cockerel Press. Crusader Castles is now offered to a wider readership. The original text is reproduced without alteration; but a selection of the pencilled notes which Lawrence added to the typescript, in preparation for a revision that was never made, are included as
footnotes, together with additional editorial notes and bibliographical details. Lawrence's work is also assessed in the light of seventy-five years of subsequent research, in an introduction prepared by Denys Pringle.
'a beautiful edition of the dissertation ... This new edition will give Lawrence's lively and stimulating book a fresh lease of life.'
Norman Housley, University of Leicester, Journal of Ecclesiastical History
`This is an important book for anyone interested in the development of Crusader military architecture ... The editorial footnotes are superb, and Pringle's new introduction is worth the price of the book ... In effect, this new edition makes Lawrence's work available for the first time to a wide audience.'
Speculum - A Journal of Medieval Studies
Introduction. Crusader castles - the influence of the crusades on European military architecture to the end of 12th century: apology for the work, and objection to "secondary" criticism; a preliminary - to set forth Oman's view, and to suggest the lines on which I will work; military architecture in Europe before the first crusade; Byzantine military architecture; the architecture of the crusaders in Syria; military architecture in Europe in the 12th century. Appendices: 1 - extracts from a preliminary draft of "Crusader castles" (1909-10); 2 - the strategic siting of Crusader castles (1911); description of five castles in the County of Edessa (1911). Index of proper names.