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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to his mother

[Bovington Camp]


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 of course.

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.


Source: HL 355-6
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 12 February 2006

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