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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to Mrs. Thomas Hardy


15 .VIII.23.

Dear Mrs. Hardy,

Your remark about 'uplift' has been puzzling me. One of my reasons for suppressing the book was that I believed it to be perverse and disturbing: a book likely to harm rather than [do] good to the normal person who would read it. It is meant to be the true history of a political movement whose essence was a fraud - in the sense that its leaders did not believe the arguments with which they moved its rank and file: and also the true history of a campaign, to show how unlovely the back of a commander's mind must be.

So what you said cuts right across my belief, and has puzzled me. Will you tell me what you would do - publish or leave private - if yourself or Mr. Hardy had written such a book? Apologies for bothering you: but the value of the book would give me an income which would keep me out of the army: and I'm wondering since Sunday whether perhaps I may be able to enjoy it.

Yours sincerely

T. E. Shaw.

Another matter. If Mr. Hardy does such things, would he inscribe me copies of his thin-paper Poems and Dynasts. I have them and could bring them across. I know it's a vulgar desire; but I live in vulgar company: and they would be very precious possessions.

Source: DG 427
Checked: mv/
Last revised: 20 February 2006


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