Research and discussion
Page updated May 2012
Outline chronology: 1925
Lawrence reapplies to return to the RAF.
The new Conservative Air Minister appears willing to transfer Lawrence back to the RAF, and Lawrence's hopes are raised. By this time, slow progress and increasing costs have put the subscribers' Seven Pillars far over budget. However, Jonathan Cape is interested in publishing an abridgement.
Lowell Thomas' With Lawrence in Arabia is published, much to its hero's dismay. Worse still, the RAF once again refuse Lawrence. On 17 May Lawrence meets John Buchan in London and persuades him to bring his influence to bear.
In a letter of 13 June sent to Edward Garnett with the revised draft of Seven Pillars Book VI, Lawrence makes a thinly veiled threat of suicide. Garnett enlists Bernard Shaw's help and Shaw intervenes with the Prime Minister.
On 1 July Trenchard agrees to meet Lawrence, who is later told that he can return to the ranks of the RAF. Lawrence redoubles his efforts on Seven Pillars. By the end of July fourteen chapters have been printed, and eighty-three more are ready to be typeset.
On 18 August 'Shaw' reports to RAF Uxbridge. Three days later he is posted to RAF Cadet College at Cranwell, joining B-Flight. He makes no secret of his identity and quickly settles in. He spends his free time during the remainder of the year working on Seven Pillars.
T.E. Lawrence 1888-1935
1888 16 August: born at Tremadoc, Wales
1896-1907: City of Oxford High School for Boys
1907-9: Jesus College, Oxford, B.A., 1st Class Hons, 1909
1910-14: Magdalen College, Oxford (Senior Demy), while working at the British Museum's excavations at Carchemish
1915-16: Military Intelligence Dept, Cairo
1916-18: Liaison Officer with the Arab Revolt
1919: Attended the Paris Peace Conference
1919-22: wrote Seven Pillars of Wisdom
1921-2: Adviser on Arab Affairs to Winston Churchill at the Colonial Office
1922 August: Enlisted in the Ranks of the RAF
1923 January: discharged from the RAF
1923 March: enlisted in the Tank Corps
1923: translated a French novel, The Forest Giant
1924-6: prepared the subscribers' abridgement of Seven Pillars of Wisdom
1927-8: stationed at Karachi, then Miranshah
1927 March: Revolt in the Desert, an abridgement of Seven Pillars, published
1928: completed The Mint, began translating Homer's Odyssey
1929-33: stationed at Plymouth
1931: started working on RAF boats
1932: his translation of the Odyssey published
1933-5: attached to MAEE, Felixstowe
1935 February: retired from the RAF
1935 19 May: died from injuries received in a motor-cycle crash on 13 May
1935 21 May: buried at Moreton, Dorset