T. E. Lawrence to R. V. Buxton
There are three conveyances, each of a fresh scrap of Chingford. They shall come to you in order, as I find them. One, I fancy is here: one at Oxford. In a few days....
I have been trying to find a lawyer here to draw me a deed to cover the other, the book overdraft... and it has suddenly occurred to me that you could probably get it done more easily. Surely a bank keeps a tame solicitor?
The idea in my mind was that I could assign to the Bank, in case of my death or disappearance, the right to publish* an abridgement (as approved by D.G. Hogarth of 20 St. Giles', Oxford, acting as editor) of as much of The Seven Pillars as seemed necessary or fit: and to apply the profits of such transaction to meeting any charges they had against either of my accounts... any surplus going, of course, to my brother, who is to inherit my debts and assets, if there are any assets ever.
*? 'to conclude an agreement with any publisher to publish, on such terms as please the Bank'?
Hogarth agrees to play 'Literary executor' (a pompous term to be used by a mouse, but what else is it?) and I believe that the right to publish a version of The Seven Pillars is valuable. Hodder & Stoughton once were willing to go to £30,000 for it: and Cape jumped at the idea of it for £7000, which I asked in 1922. He (Jonathan Cape) has still got the sheets of a suggested abridgement, which Edward Garnett made.
Lord, what a job I have thrown at you. But if you have a tame lawyer it will not be difficult.
[6 lines omitted]
Is this a possible document? It won't be necessary if I go on all right... but I might go off, just as easily. A burst front tyre, or weariness, or the other fate I'm always fearing. You know, Robin, I'm hardly sane at times.
|Last revised:||23 July 2008|
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