T. E. Lawrence to Edward Garnett
But what a monstrous idea! My book is a tax, a levy, booty, from the ungodly rich. It is inconceivable that you should subscribe. A sheer waste of money. What do you want with the pictures? I'm keeping for you a copy of the plain text, a gift worth alas only a few shillings, but all that I can afford in my condition. You see I have to give many away, and can't give, can't even make a start of giving, the pictured edition. So I've compromised by stipulating on a number of copies of the plain text.
Yes, it will be revised, but only in petto. No good cuts or noble changes, no re-writing; just punctuation, and insect-blemishes removed.
It's good of you (i)
to like The Terrapin.
(ii) to put Cape on to it.
I've never met the author: and only glanced through the poem in typescript in a taxi. Augustus John possessed it then. It struck me in the face: and is, as you say, sensational enough to sell. Full of echoes though.
Very busy: am quartermaster's storeman and clerk, and preoccupied much with the 'amazing convolutions of my mind'.
|Last revised:||10 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