Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to his family
I didn't write last week, as I was too busy. We have now become Medforce Intelligence, as Force in Egypt is abolished. It makes no difference so far as I am concerned. I'm writing to Mr. Jane. I see his brother is dead, which will upset him.
I'm sorry Dr. Whitelocke is ill: it must be horrible to be in a hospital where one of your relations was a doctor. I hope Arnie will be pleased with his drawing lessons. If one has the power to make one's hand put down on paper what one pleases, it is most excellent. Drawing is one of the few things in which one need not excel to give pleasure. An amateur musician is a disaster in a family, but drawing does no harm, so long as it is not hung on a wall, and one is lost without it. Also you appreciate the shapes of things much better, if you know how to represent them in the flat. Tell A. to keep up an interest in sculpture. It is finer far than flat work, much more difficult to do and to appreciate, and gives one complete satisfaction where it is well done. I would rather possess a fine piece of sculpture than anything in the world.
Only 7 of us work in the Savoy. The others are all over Egypt. Egypt has always some cold weather every winter: the country is so unfitted for it that it strikes one as an offence, and much colder than it really is. It is hot now.
No news of Aldridge. Alexandria and Cairo are very far apart, and I don't meet people, as I never go out, and can do nothing for them. I have to write to Mrs. Rieder now. There is an extra post this afternoon, and the office is for the moment empty. Things in the Near East are going better than they have been since we came out, I think. There is some faint prospect of the result of the war being good when it does come.
|Last revised:||2 January 2006|
T. E. Lawrence chronology
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