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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to Robert Graves

Saturday [19 February 1921]

My Lord,

I'd just got as keen as mustard on going out with Kennington when Winston Churchill in his third effort to get me to join his new Middle Eastern Department used arguments which I could not resist.

So I'm a Government servant from yesterday: and Palestine goes fut (or phut?) - - - - -

Kennington is going all the same: (that man is a great man) and as an official I'll be able to help him even more than ever: but what a beastly mess - - - - -

They let me fix my own terms: so I said a temporary billet, and £1000: out of evil comes good for -

I had meant to publish the enclosed muck in USA, to raise £1000: and now I've written to say that I've made other arrangements. Will you read them now they are born to blush unseen? They are literal extracts from a book I wrote: but all the personal (subjective) part is left out for dignity's sake. It's bloody cheek asking you to read such muck: but the intrinsic interest may atone for the lack of technique: and as an artist you should be glad to peep behind the scenes of another's affair.

You say the shop is over: but perhaps I'll see you tomorrow and ask about that. Pier-Glass just come: not yet cut or read: you will gather from this note that I don't feel either lyrical, pastoral, or dramatic just now.

More tomorrow, if I can't get away by 4 P.M. this afternoon.


Note: Lawrence's formal appointment to the Colonial Office came through on 19 February 1921, so the dates attributed to this letter in DG (December 1920) and in B:RG (before 8 January 1921) cannot be correct.

Source: B:RG 10-11
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 22 January 2006

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