Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to Edward Garnett
7. XII. 22.
Your concern flatters me - but is misplaced. Lack of sleep hurts when it is due to brain-weariness, or to a man's chumbling his miseries or regrets over and over till his mind is on fire and scorches him. I now stay awake out of sheer pleasure, and invested strength, my day having no worries and little physical activity. Such sheer pleasure never hurts: it ceases with its causes. For instance when I ride up to London and back I sleep soundly for six or seven hours.
For the R.A.F. - no, it still interests me, and as long as it does I'll stick to it: though my hankering after flesh-pots is, I fear, too strong to be resisted when there shall be an alternative livelihood, of a workless character, within reach. So I won't ask for a loan, thanks: and my puritan self hopes that The War in the Desert will be a failure, to compel me to dwell longer in barracks.
The private press has been a life-dream of mine - and has been twice (1909 and 1914) on the point of coming true. It will come, and will, I hope, be as good as my expectations.
No, the born writer is the real fact, and without such ichor in his veins a man only makes a journeyman's job of book-writing: and my critical sense makes me not covet the creation (even while I enjoy it) of those who do so, by pain, make literature.
Lady into Fox is having a succès fou down here at Farnborough. Room after room has borrowed it, and handed it round from bed to bed; and the end isn't yet reached with them. The airmen say it's 'posh', and argue it fiercely among themselves
|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