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T. E. Lawrence to Eric Kennington

Clouds Hill


Dear K.,

I'm unable to improve the libel chances. It stands this way. The book is libellous, as against Some Englishmen, Some Frenchmen, Some Arabs, Some Turks. The danger of proceedings run in this national order.

I'll do my best to prevent them

(i) by toning down.

(ii) by informing my victims, before proofs are passed, of what I say about them.

but I don't guarantee the efficacy of either proceeding.

Consequently the wise man must prepare for trouble. As I explained, the trouble can't hit me. A soldier is too poor a being to pay damages, too degraded a being to fear imprisonment.

I intended to tear of the printer's name, and lay claim, if challenged in the first six months (after that there is no real risk) to have printed it myself. I've asked law-men, (not professionally, but in friendly guise) and they tell me that in the circs. no action could well be taken against my printer. He must take my wages, and is not himself, but an extension of me. Pike will make the form of the book a credit to our firm. . . and if there are no libel actions (odds 90 to one there won't be) then he shall have All the credit of te appearance. If there is trouble I get it.

Meynell wouldn't ever come in. He could say simply that Pike had hired of him a press.

Many thanks for the Roberts photos. I think it's a good piece of work: though at first glance it puzzled me.

Some Nashes attached for judgement. Please tell me what you think of them. One is of 'A wilderness of sandstone peaks'.

Source: DG 454-5
Checked: dk/
Last revised: 23 July 2008

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