Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to D. G. Hogarth
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?
|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