Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to Robert Graves
2, Smith Square
[16 February 1921]
This is a scribble at 11.45 P.M. We sit late at the office, and so I've only just got your note. I'm exceedingly sorry your kids are ill: and hope you'll send me better news of them.
You say you may get to town this week. On Saturday I go to Oxford in the evening, for Sunday. Back on Monday morning. If you can, call at 2 Smith Sq. or ring it up Victoria 5960: or ring me up in the Colonial Office: room 9: and we’ll feed or meet somehow.
We are making a most ambitious design for the Middle East: a new page in the loosening of the Empire tradition: and are working like beavers to end it by Wednesday. This will explain distraction of note.
Yesterday one, but to-day three members of the Colonial Office staff came to the office without hats. It is said that the permanent under-secretary has placed his resignation in the hands of the S. of S.
This change fills me with money: your change will exhaust you. Will you let me know at once if I can be any help to you? I wouldn't have written it, but I'll be leaving so soon.
Note: The content shows that this was written on 16 February, a week before the Cairo Conference agenda was completed (for approval on 26 February). Lawrence was already working in the Colonial Office, though not yet formally appointed. The letter precedes that of Saturday [19 February] in B:RG pp.10-11. In the interim, Graves told Lawrence that his shop venture had failed. Afterwards Lawrence and Churchill left England for the Cairo Conference
|Last revised:||8 February 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