Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to Robert Graves
14, Barton St.
I’ve been some while wanting to write, and your note (which came to hand yesterday) is the last straw to weigh down my mind.
Sorry to have missed you in London: but my movings have been eccentric of late. The R.A.F. threw me out, eventually. Crime of too great publicity. Stainless character. I took the latter to the W.0. and persuaded them to let me enlist with them. So I’m now a recruit in the Tank Corps. Conditions rough too. However, there is a certainty and a contentment in bed-rock.
I wanted to ask you . . . we are near Dorchester and I run about Dorset on wheels (when they take their eyes off us) . . . do you think old Hardy would let me look at him? He’s a proper poet and a fair novelist, in my judgment, and it would give me a feeling of another milestone passed if I might meet him. Yet to blow in upon him in khaki would not be an introduction. You know the old thing, don’t you? What are my hopes?
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