Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to his mother
A month has passed.
This is going to Paoing. You told me to write to Vancouver, which I did,
no doubt too late to overtake you. Shanghai you did not mention, and I
haven't written there. If I had, it would no doubt have been too late
also. You are fortunate to miss this November. It has been colder than
any other in my memory. No news here or elsewhere. I sent you a Doughty
by post the other day: and hope you get it. The postage was dear, and
the book is rare, in that edition. Now Cape has brought out a £3.3.0
edition, of the complete book, on quite good paper. The identical print
I am doing a little work for Cape, to fill up my odd moments: and Buxton (the banker) is looking for 100 subscribers of 30 guineas each, to make possible a private reprint of my book on Arabia. Hardy praised it, and makes me feel justified in giving it so much distribution. Of course there would be no reviews, no copies for public sale, and no profits.
I still see Hardy occasionally. John has painted (at my request) a very beautiful portrait of him. The old man is delighted, and Mrs. Hardy also. It is seldom that an artist is so fortunate in his sitter's eyes.
I've taken a little cottage (half ruinous) a mile from camp, and water-tighted it to act as a work-room for myself. There I hope in future to do my writing, which is becoming more and more a habit. No original stuff, of course: just translations. I hope not again to do anything of my own. It is not good for man to make things.
Nothing else I can think of to write. I hope the journey is not still wearisome to you: but you must be looking forward to its end: yet, you know, these journeys don't really end, till we do.
|Last revised:||12 February 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