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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to H. R. Hadley

All Souls College,


Dear Hadley,

Here's this - it isn't much of a thing, but the best I can lay my hands on. I think Goslett took it, outside his tent at Akaba one day when I hadn't got my cloak on.

About Mecca. I send you three photographs of it, taken by an Arab doctor. It is a curious place, without trees or running water, a very hot town, in narrow valleys between limestone hills. About 120000 people. It's not really so difficult to go there, if they know you, because the people are not fanatical. They keep Christians out because the other Moslems of the world (India and elsewhere) would be annoyed if we were allowed in: and if they were annoyed they might stop coming on pilgrimage, and the pilgrim traffic is all the revenue of the place. So if anyone asks me if I've been there I have to say 'no' in public: but in private you can guess about it! It mustn't get into the papers, because it would do the old King's reputation harm.

We'll get that dinner some day: but I'll have to make some money first. Perhaps I'll write a book and make it that way. At present I'm completely on the rocks, and as I like my leisure very much I don't want to have to go and do a job of work again! The Govt. wanted me to go back East!

Yours sincerely

T E Lawrence

Source: DG 320
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 22 January 2006


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