Worthen's theme - the theme of practically every literary biography that gets written these days - is deracination. Most creative writers spend the early part of their lives trying to escape from the small-scale and ultimately limiting environments in which they were born. They then find themselves stuck on a kind of spiritual pontoon bridge between old life and new, grimly aware that while the past may have given them their material it is almost impossible to revisit. For all his much advertised loathing of England and English bourgeois stupidity, Lawrence, one sometimes feels, was a classic type of deracinated Englishman, the kind of permanent exile who, in whatever foreign clime he happens to be in, preserves just enough of his origins to remain conspicuous.
Yes, no one ever really loses one's past. It's always there in the psychic background, causing interference in the revelations and choices of the present moment. I generally find Lawrence's bravery (bravado?) impressive, but it sounds like this biographer is arguing that it's a facade.