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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to R. V. Buxton

14 Barton Street


Dear Robin,

Advise me out of your goodness. Doubtless you know that a while ago I changed my name and enlisted in the R.A.F. The old name bored me with its length and its associations: The new ones John - Hume - Ross were chosen by chance, but seem to me to fit my length and breadth: also I could drop the Ross and sign a book 'John Hume' without its seeming odd.

The difficulty is about cheques. As my balance is nil that may seem to you not pressing: but I've decided to sell an abridgement (rather less than one third) of my Arabian narrative, and this will bring in some thousands (perhaps £6000) next year. After that I'm quite likely to chuck the R.A.F. but meanwhile I hang on to it with no more expenses than artists and a motor-bike. I'll pay in £200 or £300 shortly, so as to meet these cheques which I must occasionally draw.

Can I draw as J.H. Ross? and pay in cheques made out so to me? I believe that the change of christian names is not legal... but is it difficult? Other authors get paid in their pen-names - but I'd like to use the old 'Lawrence' as a pen-name, and live under the new one.

Very sorry for bothering you: but I haven't the power here to get hold of a solicitor, and the matter will come up for decision
early in January.



Source: DG 388-9
Checked: jw
Last revised: 6 February 2006

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