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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to R. O'Connor

14 Barton St.


Dear Sir,

Your letter went about the counties looking for me: it's the usual fate of people who write to other than the above address.

Probably your lecture is well-delivered by now: the best source of information would have been Valentine Chirol's continuation of Lord Eversley's History of the Ottoman Turks.

I don't believe in any form of religious revival in the Western Islamic countries. Their present passion for nationality has driven out their former fanatical interest in creeds - and I do not believe that anything will make political a faith which has become, like our Christianity, a purely ethical concern. Ireland and Poland are the two Christian parallels to India, where Islam is still a power at the polls. In Turkey, Egypt, Persia and the Arab countries, orthodox Islam is no longer a fighting creed.

On the other hand, the depth and fire of this new nationality can hardly be questioned. In fourteen years it has re-shaped the political map of the Middle East and the zenith is still far off. Odd that Turkey should be getting national, just as the better classes of European thinkers are climbing slowly out of nationality, into an international atmosphere, in which the divisions are horizontal rather than vertical.

With apologies for being too late to help you. Believe me

Yours Sincerely

T. E. Lawrence

Note: Lieutenant O'Connor had written to Lawrence for help with a lecture on 'The Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Empire'

Source: DG 400-401
Checked: mv/
Last revised: 19 February 2006

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