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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to D. G. Hogarth


23.8.23.

Gertrude wrote and asked for a copy of The Seven Pillars. I wrote back and said I had none, but if she had a tame millionaire who would put up say £300 for a reprint, then I was willing to reprint it.

She replied that she hadn't a millionaire handy, but that several
people anxious for copies, would contribute.

It puts me back at the 'subscription' edition, privately printed, the obstacle last raised by Cape, and from which I finally withdrew. Now I'm hesitating again. It's pitiful to have a mind so feeble in purpose.

What am I to do? Publish the Garnett abridgement after all, with such restrictions as seem fit to me, and use its profits to publish a limited illustrated complete edition... publish nothing... or print privately?

Hardy read the thing lately, and made me very proud with what he said of it. Shaw (have you seen him?) praised it. Alan Dawnay compares it, not unfavourably, with the lost edition. I still feel that it's a pessimistic unworthy book, full of the neurosis of the war, and I hate the idea of selling it. If I won't make profit of my war reputation, still less should I make profit of my war-story. Yet Lowell Thomas lurks still in the background, and if his book is the fulsome thing I expect, he will force the truth out of me. It might be better to get my blow in first.

You have read the original and the abridgement... will you tell me what, in my place, you would do?

T.E.

Source: DG 428-9
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 28 January 2006


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