Research and discussion
Page updated May 2012
Outline chronology: 1927
On 7 January Lawrence arrives at the RAF depot at Drigh Road in Karachi. He is posted to the Engine Repair Section as a clerk. His initial reaction to India is one of dislike. He decides that he will never leave the camp, and begins spend more time on correspondence, notably with Charlotte Shaw.
Revolt in the Desert is published in Britain on 10 March and in America nineteen days later. It receives excellent reviews and becomes a best-seller. The royalty earned is very rapidly sufficient to repay Lawrence's debts. Once that is done, he uses a clause in the contract to halt publication in Britain. Sales continue in America, and there are many translations.
Lawrence decides to change his name officially to Shaw.
Robert Graves is commissioned to write a biography of Lawrence for Cape and Doran. At first, this is to be an adventure book for boys, and Graves is given only six weeks to produce it. However, the project is soon changed to a biography for adults. Lawrence helps Graves by sending lengthy autobiographical notes. At around the same time, Lawrence begins to transform the jottings he had made at the RAF recruits' training depot in 1922 into a new book (completed the following year as The Mint).
Draft for the first part of Graves's book reaches Lawrence in Karachi. Lawrence is disappointed to find that much of it consists of straight paraphrase from Seven Pillars.
Lawrence begins contributing a series of reviews to the Spectator under the pseudonym Colin Dale. The first, an appreciation of novels by D. H. Lawrence, is well received.
The Boys' Life of Colonel Lawrence - a children's book by Lowell Thomas - is published.
Graves's Lawrence and the Arabs is published.
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