Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to Lady Scott
2 Smith Square, S.W.1.
2. 2. 21
Dear Lady Scott,
This is very sudden! Once I was 'portrayed in bronze' by Derwent Wood. I met it suddenly in the Academy, and felt like the man in Rossetti who met himself in a wood! But then perhaps he isn't very deep. Dobson seems to me better. Once I played with stone and clay myself and dreamed of doing something: and the war spoiled it. So you'd find me critical.
Seriously if you want an object, I'll agree with pleasure: only it won't be a good speculation: it won't sell afterwards: and my face isn't so-to-speak virgin. John did it, as you say (though I liked the larger, full-faced one: the clothes were beautifully painted, and the face can't be worse than the truth): also D.- Wood: and Orpen: and now Rothenstein: really the features are quite worn away with so much study of them.
If you do do it, please hold me as a model, and not as 'the most romantic figure of the war' (American film-artist). I'm tired of the lime light, and am really not stagy at all, and not ever going to be a public figure again. It was a war effort, imposed, involuntary. Don't do me as Colonel Lawrence (he died Nov. 11. 1918) but because my shaped head suits your whim.
All this sounds very vain and silly. To be earthy again: am off tomorrow (wherefore this sudden haste to reply) till Tuesday. Could come Wed. morn: Fri. morn: or the week after: but won't unless on reflection you write here again and tell me you do really want it. That gives you three days to think it over. Probably start for Palestine Feb. 28.
Apologies for this long stupid screed,
T E Lawrence
|Last revised:||26 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