Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to Eric Kennington
I'm afraid Lenin isn't coming: or Trotsky, only people like Litvinoff, Tchicherin & Co, who look like woodworms. I don't know any of them, but if you want to try for them you'd better take this note in your own hand and get through with it to Sir Edward Grigg, who is secretary to Lloyd George, and one of the men of reason. If you tell him that you a member of the Round Table (mine, not his) and show him this scrawl he'll do what he can: how much that is depends on the way the Conference goes. It's likely to be rather more than any other foreigner can do.
I've had my tenth resignation to Winston rejected, and am sitting in my attic, writing at the never-to-be-presentable-published-or-finished book. Your Arabs disturb the course of work in the Colonial Office as much as ever. Lady Cowdray has hopped the Kensingtons out of Milbank, and Aitken wants two or three Arabs on loan to brighten up his modern room. About July I hope to get Whittingham & Griggs on to do a block of four. I discover that Ageyli is necessary for myself: he's V.G. I'll settle when you come back. I hope all's well. Aloes are rather shock-headed friends.
It's easier to do creative imaginative work under 30: though you can go on doing it after, if you have
(i) a memory of what youth was like
or (ii) an incapacity for fixed ideas.
Very often after 40 the hardness of the thirties breaks down, and men become artists again, till nearly 60. I personally at 33 notice very little change in myself since about 1914.
Can't find Dobson: but he is rumoured alive and fit.
|Source:||DG pp. 340-41|
|Last revised:||3 January 2007|
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