Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to Edward Garnett
Good news of Shaw and Doughty. What guts the man has: to read a great part of my book, and at once to go on to Doughty: magnificent!
Yes I'm at Wool - camped not by Lulworth, but on Bovington Heath - Hardy's Egdon. We go to Lulworth for gunnery later on, after the end of drills.
I've seen Hardy twice, but have had no other adventures: barring one race up to London (2 hrs. 55 mins.) to see John's show. I got back, perforce, in 2 hrs. 45 mins. (126 miles each way), and was in place to answer my name for both noon and evening roll-calls. A good ride, or race, rather. Everyone thought it impossible for me to get up and down in the afternoon.
The Camp Authorities are very narrow towards us recruits - giving no leave till August, and few spare afternoons. Lulworth not allowed without a pass - but I risk it and run down occasionally for a smile at the sea. Too cold to bathe - except in the rain.
My number is 7875698: Name Pte. T.E. Shaw. Address is Mr. T.E. Shaw c/o. H. Smith, (Stationer), Bovington Camp, Wool, Dorset.
I've really struck bed-rock - or base material - this time. The army is unspeakable; more solidly animal than I believed Englishmen could be. I hate them, and the life here: and am sure that it's good medicine for me.
Revise the book? Do you know, I've now reached the happy point of being really sorry that ever I wrote it! Apologies: I must be exasperating to work with: but what can I do about it? Any idea of working over it again must wait. Projects of epochal writings flit - or flash, through my head. If I can take one on the wing I'll look look at it carefully... but this atmosphere is hostile to everything.
Meanwhile pictures grow: the Spencers are drawing, and John has done me a glorious head of Hogarth - now hanging in his show. Do go and look at it.
|Last revised:||28 January 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