About Maarten Schild

I studied Contemporary History at the University of Utrecht (1977-85) and Contemporary History of the Middle East at the University of Amsterdam (1980-85), and finished my studies in 1985 with a doctorate (making me a Drs).

My doctoral thesis (in Dutch) was titled The Citadel of Integrity: A Study Of Homosexual Behaviour In The Middle East (1985) and included a chapter about TE Lawrence and the rape at Deraa.

In 1990 I founded an international network, The Abu Nuwas Society For The Study Of Sexual Culture In The Middle East, and became editor of its Newsletter. I stopped its activities in 1995, since after my studies I had chosen a different career.

During my history studies I worked voluntarily as a trainer at the University of Utrecht and at The Childline (Kindertelefoon). After being schooled for two years as a trainer in communication at the University of Wageningen, I started working as a sales trainer at a large company in sanitary equipment. In 1996 I was asked to set up sales training at the largest training company in the Netherlands, Schouten & Nelissen. After four successful years I left, to become an independent trainer and coach. In the last few years I have focussed myself entirely on personal coaching.

For more information on my work as a coach see my website and my blog Anders (Different), which covers themes from my coaching. Both are in Dutch, as is my other blog The Songcatcher, dealing with my musical activities as a songcatcher.

* T.E.Lawrence, in: Wayne Dynes (ed.) – The Encyclopedia Of Homo­sexuality (Gar­land, New York 1990)
* The Alternative Life Of T.E.Lawrence, in: T.E. Notes, A T.E.Lawrence Newsletter, volume 15, nr.1 (2005),p.7-11

* Extensive reading on TE’s personal life (both published and unpublished material).
* Extensive reading on trauma and its mental & physical consequences.
* Specialist knowledge of the (sexual) culture of the Middle East.
* A wide reading on English culture between 1880 and 1935.


Lawrence James in: The Golden Warrior: The Life And Legend Of Lawrence Of Arabia (1990)

“I am especially grateful to Dr Maarten Schild for his kindness in sharing with me his clinical and historical knowledge and insights into Lawrence’s behaviour and for presenting his information in such an agreeable and often humorous form”.

Michael Asher in: Lawrence: The Uncrowned King Of Arabia (1998)

I am especially grateful for the advice and suggestions of John Lockman of the USA and Marten Schild of Holland – two contemporary Lawrence scholars who have managed in their different ways to examine the Lawrence myth in an original and relatively unprejudiced light.”

Carlo Mittendorff, Former Executive Director of The Dutch Institute For Psychotrauma  

“Maarten combines a grasp of psychology and trauma studies with his knowledge on T.E.Lawrence, and this results in a fascinating look at the trauma and its consequences for a man of fame.“



Over the years I have talked and corresponded with many people who studied the life of TE and published on him. With them I discussed my research findings and unpublished writings. Some of them showed me great hospitality when I visited them during my holidays in Great Britain. I would like to thank them for their openness and feedback, and their willingness to share material and thoughts, which helped me to sharpen my own ideas.

Michael Asher: Explorer, novelist and author of Lawrence: The Uncrowned King Of Arabia (1998).

Fred Crawford (1947-1999): Associate Professor of English. General editor of SHAW: The Annual Of Bernard Shaw Studies. Author of A Cautionary Tale: Richard Aldington And Lawrence Of Arabia (1998).

Jack Duckworth (d.2008): History Professor, curator of Clouds Hill and author of several articles in T.E.Notes, A T.E.Lawrence Newsletter.

The Dutch and Flemish members of the T.E.Lawrence Society: Raymond van Haelst, Michiel Hegener, Kees Kooy, Rob Jongbloed, Dirk Tang, Eric Tromp

Lawrence James: Historian and author of The Golden Warrior: The Life And Legend Of Lawrence Of Arabia (1990).

Christopher Kennington: Son of Eric Kennington, the artist who worked with TE on Seven Pillars Of Wisdom.

Ronald Knight (d.): Former Chairman of the T.E.Lawrence Society (1986-1990). He had a blog which deals with TE.  

Phillip Knightley (1929-2016): Journalist and author of The Secret Lives Of Lawrence Of Arabia (1969).

Richard Knowles: Bookseller at Rickaro Books and author of Two Superiors: The Motor-Cycling Friendship Of George Brough and T.E.Lawrence (2005). 

Hugh Leach (1934-2015): Soldier, diplomat and traveller. Owner and director of a circus. Recipient of the Lawrence of Arabia memorial medal 1998.

Denis MacEoin: Islam specialist and chief editor of The Middle East Quarterly. Advisor of The Abu Nuwas Society For The Study Of Sexual Culture In The Middle East. Very successful novelist under the pen names Daniel Easterman and Jonathan Aycliffe.

Peter Mansfield (1928-1996): Historian and journalist specialized in Middle Eastern affairs.  Advisor of The Abu Nuwas Society For The Study Of Sexual Culture In The Middle East.

Philip O’Brien: Library director and author of T.E.Lawrence: A Bibliography (1988).

Harold Orlans (1921-2007): Social scientist and author of T.E.Lawrence: Biography Of A Broken Hero (2002).

Jeffrey Richards: Professor of Cultural History, specialized in the study of cinema and society in Britain, Victorian theatre and national identity.

Edith & Elaine Steblecki: Editors of T.E.Notes: A T.E.Lawrence Newsletter.

Wilfred Thesiger (1910-2003): Explorer and travel writer. Author of Arabian Sands (1959) and The Marsh Arabs (1964). Owner of a copy of the very rare subscriber’s edition of Seven Pillars Of Wisdom.

Jeremy Wilson (1944-2017): Publisher and editor. Author of Lawrence Of Arabia: The Authorized Biography Of T.E.Lawrence (1989). Co-owner of Castle Hill Press. Founder and editor of T.E.Lawrence Studies, T.E.Lawrence Studies List, The T.E.Lawrence Net Project and The Great Arab Revolt: Selected Documents. He also had a blog which deals with TE.

10 Comments to “About Maarten Schild”

  1. Maarten, I would add another voice to be thankful for, whose knowledge of and empathy for T.E. Lawrence has blessed my life and probably yours – that of the late John Mack (“A Prince of Our Disorder”)

  2. Benedicta Froelich

    I perfectly agree with Trish Lewis. My greatest reference for the work I myself have undertaken on T.E. Lawrence (I have written a biographical novel about him) is the work provided by John E. Mack with his book and that provided by you, Mr. Maarten Schild, here on the web. I am so thankful for this blog of yours and for the amazing, thoughtful insights you are sharing with us on T.E.’s life and psyche through it. Thank you so much for this labour of love, for which all TEL scholars are grateful, and thanks for your understanding and empathy towards this amazing man.

  3. Hi, really interesting. I got interested in Lawrence of Arabia through my dad. My dad served in Akaba in the late 1950’s and the movie came virtually on his return to Scotland. I don’t know how much he knew of the real T E Lawrence. I love history and especially biographies. I will endevour to read “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”. My interest lies with how much of his Christian upbringing influenced his life positively. Do you know if his mother was a true bible believing , spirit filled christian? General Allenby was said to be a praying man and didn’t just put on a show. From what I have read about Lawrence, he as a very humble man. Some say he was a show off whilst in Arabia? Many contradictions. Thanks for all the information. Kind regards,susanna

  4. I appreciate Maarten’s balanced and sensitive approach, as well as all the hard work. I can’t tell you how thankful I am that you have shared such excellent research combined with fine writing on the internet.

  5. Could you please cite me the authority for the age-nine point in the “Circumcision” section of “Did TE Lawrence Have a Miserable or a Happy Childhood?”. Reply to my prior inquiry was that Jeremy Wilson had somewhere stated TEL’s circumcision was at age 9. My emailed follow-up to Mr. Wilson elicited his indication that there was such somewhere. But he was moving and needed time to identify it. Of course, my patience now mocks me. Has anyone in the world such source? Thank you for your kind attention to this question.

  6. Very impressed with the depth and breadth of your research, writings and thoughts regarding Thomas Edward Lawrence, his times and his contemporaries. Fascinating.

  7. Mr. Schild, I read your article it was very interesting especially the symptoms that TE Lawrence displayed after the war. My opinion was they were the symptoms of same-sex rape eg the rape at Deraa. I read your opinion which was very interesting he had combined trauma. I am preparing an article of my own on the RAPE AT DERAA. I would like you to read it and give your opinion.

  8. I totally agree with Trish & Benedicta.

  9. Dick Benson-Gyles

    It saddens, and annoys, me that this endless speculation about whether TEL was a homosexual merely keeps alive and further promotes the fiction that he was. If you constantly write or talk about a subject such as homosexuality in connection with someone as famous as Lawrence, then eventually it becomes received wisdom and people just assume it is true. I’m sorry, but Maarten Schild’s seeming preoccupation with Lawrence’s sexuality (disguised as objective intellectual scholarship) has done Lawrence no favours at all. Also I would have hoped that Mr Schild would have realised that some biographers — Lawrence James, Aldington and others — more than imply, and entirely without proper evidence, that Lawrence was homosexual. Nonsense, He wasn’t and it’s about time this was recognised. TEL once said of Siegfried Sassoon “I like him — homosex and all”, or some very similar phrase. Are these the words of a homosexual!? If Mr Schild had studied my book on Lawrence thoroughly, he would have come to see that Lawrence’s relationship with Farida al Akle was highly significant in this context and indicative of his being a heterosexual, if a very shy one. If he was unable to accept, or indulge in, the physical side of love, that doesn’t make him a homosexual.

    Dick Benson-Gyles.

  10. Thanks so much for this very informative and useful blog. I am currently researching for a book on Charlotte Payne-Townshend and T E Lawrence was a big part of her later life as (platonic) friends and confidants. One thing Lawrence, Charlotte and Shaw had in common was a difficult/complex relationship with their mothers, so I am finding his early years most fascinating.

I would appreciate your reaction to the article