Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to his family
This is only a note, to catch what I believe is a post. I'm sending some photographs in hope that they will arrive: of course they are not mine, but some R.F.C. people who had taken them sent me copies. I've sent you a lot, one time and another, but I don't suppose many get through. I cannot send any enlargements, for printing paper is scarce.
Went down to Jidda a month ago, and saw Feisul at Wejh, and the Sherif himself at Jidda, and discussed things with them. Results satisfactory on the whole. I had never met the Sherif himself before, and liked him exceedingly: a very simple straightforward old man, clever enough too, but knowing so little. Upon us as a people is the responsibility of having made him a ruling power, and he is pitifully unfit for the rough and tumble of forming a new administration out of the ruins of the Turkish system. We will have to help him and his sons, and of the sons only Feisul and Zeid will play square to us. Abdulla is an intriguer, and poor Sidi Ali, the eldest son is a religious fanatic, and will be the tool of evil spirits. I do hope we play them fair.
I'm now going back to Akaba to look round at the country there: will start about the 16th from here. The average length of my last five visits to Cairo has been about 5 days! However it is more restful in Arabia, because one feels so nervous of what may happen if one goes away. I cannot ask for leave, as I know there is so much to do down there, and no one to do it. If I asked I would probably get it, but it would not be right at present. If ever things get safe there, it will be possible to rest. You know there are very few of us on the job.
About writing:- please try to realise that one's thoughts for nearly two years have been fixed on one object. We have realised part of the scheme, and the situation is critical but hopeful. In the circumstances one has become a monomaniac, unable to do or think about anything else- and of the one thing I cannot write to you.
|Last revised:||9 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