Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to Edward Garnett
Friday. [Postmarked 1 Dec. 1922]
I liked M. Grubbe so much that I've got her in Danish, and am reading her slowly: (v. slowly): with the help of your crib.
I didn't call Shakespeare 2nd rate: only his intellect. He's the most consummate master of vowels and consonants: and the greatest poet. As a philosopher and moralist I have no abnormal respect for him: but the Elizabethan age was tempered rather than forged steel.
The best sculptor of my generation is a man of 30, called Frank Dobson, who lives at 14 Trafalgar Studios, Manresa Road, Chelsea: but he is not cheap: and I don't know if he would do a posthumous head, you might try him. He's Cornish, and so might do for Hudson what he would not for another.
Mention the book to Cape, by all means: but tell him that it will be a costly production, and that I am making Curtis Brown my agent in disposing of it. Of course I'd be very glad if he got it: but it seems to me a speculation unjustifiably large for his resources. The thing may be a complete frost, and will cost £3,000 to produce: and I reckon that would about bust him.
I liked one of R's drawings of H. He had the just-about-to-thaw-frostiness perfectly hit off, so that it made an independent and likeable old head. Others, I agree, weren't up to the mark: but H. was a very restless sitter.
|Last revised:||19 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