Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to C. M. Doughty
C. 0. [Colonial Office]
18. VI. 21.
Dear Mr. Doughty,
Many thanks for signing those books: Aubrey Herbert asks me to thank you specially for his copies. Autographed A.D’s. by you are found rather thrilling things by people.
The Middle East is all upset: and Hussein is, as you suspect, not popular in Mecca! However, he is strong, and if I go up to Taif it will probably be in one of his cars: and they are too quick for the hand of the ordinary fanatic. We are going to give him some armoured cars, which will make the roads quite safe for the pilgrims. They are much better than camel-police.
About the 3rd edition of Arabia. I've withdrawn my note because it's in bad taste. Lee Warner faced the gamble of the reprint more readily because my name was on the title-page, with yours, and I've been much advertised, and so would help sell it - perhaps. Well, it sold excellently, and now A.D. will go on selling. Lee Warner and Cape have both done better than they ever hoped out of the 2nd edition: and they can stand on their own feet quite well for the 3rd, which will cost them very little, and pay them handsomely. I hope it will be profitable to you also.
The cheaper edition must come some time, but not just yet, in deference to those who have made it possible by paying for the dear edition. I think perhaps in 1925, or thereabouts.
If you write a new preface for this third edition (I see no real need for writing anything new at all), I think it should only be something formal. It isn't really possible for you to say why I withdraw my bit, ('he felt he had acted like a tourist, and scribbled his name on a monument'... but you are the monument, and it wouldn't be manners to call yourself that), and I don't see why the public should want to know at all.
If I were you I'd change the photograph for the reproduction of the French sketch of you in Damascus, and let it go out without new work at all!
Though of course if you feel inclined to say anything it's worth saying: only don't say it just because Cape wants it!
There'll be a fourth edition in 1922, I expect. Please get an increased royalty every time. A.D. should be a little gold mine, eventually.
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