Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to C. M. Doughty
All Souls College,
Aug. 7. 1920.
Dear Mr. Doughty,
I'm afraid I wrote too quickly: no doubt the business men are still drawing up the precise clauses of their contracts. Still I'll be in London on Tuesday, and will then go to Duckworth's and find out.
The facts are roughly, that Mr. Lee Warner, of the Medici Society in Grafton St., who has published bibliophile editions of the classics, (Virgil, Horace, Caesar, Catullus) and a few English books (no new ones) has agreed to do an Arabia Deserta, subject to your approval. He proposes a limited edition of five hundred copies at £9. 9. 0. If these sell he will have made ten per cent: and in addition he will have the book set up, ready for further, and I hope cheaper, editions. He wanted a new preface, and the use of my name on an introduction, because America has an idea that I know more about Arabia than anyone: and so I may advertise you. It's a topsy-turvy world!
Your share was to be ten per cent. It is a poor return after so many years, but I hope you will agree to it, for this edition should raise the value of the book very much, and the subsequent editions ought to be profitable. The contract you sign ought to reserve your rights in all future editions, I think: but there is no one so little apt at business as myself, and I hope you will not take my advice.
I'd like a first-class portrait as a frontispiece.
About my own book. I'm going in the next two or three months to re-write it in short form, as a story of adventure, for America. It will appeal to Boy Scouts, I hope. This will keep me in Oxford, I'm afraid for the next time: otherwise I would have liked to come down: perhaps in the autumn. Please give my regards to Mrs. Doughty.
T E Lawrence
|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