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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to C. M. Doughty

5. 1. 20.

Dear Mr. Doughty,

I fear you will have thought me remiss in not answering you before, but I have been away, and when I got back at last decided that it was so old now, that I had better read Mansoul before replying.

I finished it today, in London, and I think I like it better than Adam and next to Arabia Deserta, of your books. Of course nothing can replace Arabia, to me, but Mansoul is very nearly doing so, in parts, though not as a whole. The Arabia is a complete picture of the life of the best sort of Arabs in the desert, and in the markets about the desert, and no picture of one people, by a stranger, has ever been painted like it, in my experience of books.

Did I ever tell you of our lunch with Mr. Balfour when the table voted on the best books of travel... five for you, and two for Marco Polo?

There are some things about Mansoul which I want to ask you about, but I will keep them till I see you. I want to contest one point... perhaps because I'm 30 and you 70!

Did I tell you about Augustus John? He has to go to Paris at the moment, but will be free perhaps at the end of the month, and will then write to you and try to arrange a date to come down and have a sitting. That is unless something unexpected happens: and it generally does, with John.

No news from Cairo yet, of course.

Please give my best wishes for the New Year to Mrs. Doughty.

Yours sincerely

T E Lawrence

Source: DG 297
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 24 January 2006



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