Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to V. W. Richards
I've written a letter to Gardiner saying that if we can build in 1921, we'll let him know in good time, and ask him for his last twenty-nine days. I've told him that meanwhile you will set up a hedge, and asked him whether there are any improvements he can think of, since there seems to me no reason why they shouldn't be done.
It seems monstrous that you should put up the fence yourself, while I sit at peace and dream of having written a book. Why can't Rogers hire a man? I can afford that easily.
I'm glad the nurse was not too down on me: it's horrible to know that one is not so good-looking as one's portrait in the Strand. Hoots.
About the book-to-build-the-house. It is on paper in the first draft to the middle of Book vi: and there are seven books in all. But the first draft is a long way off the last one and I feel hopeless about ever finishing it. I work best utterly by myself: when I speak to no one for days. So that's a consoling prospect for you in the hut (or Hall: q.e.v.) days of garrulity divided by days of silence. Hoots again. Gardiner to return to business says 'Hut, Hawkes Head'. Stokes & Stokes say 'King’s Head': you say 'Pole Hill'. Which? Pole Hill Press sounds nicest. I'm sorry to raise this again. Hawkes are poor eating, and Kings, if eaten, would taste like them. Also heads are the worst part of everything except asparagus.
I haven't read Boon: and I don’t like Wells. He has written eighty books.
McDougall reproaches me on the shelf. He has not been taken down since I began Book vi. Do you ever come into London. Because if so, I'll return him, and Bradley, it's a shame to keep them so long.
|Last revised:||24 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