Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to Jonathan Cape
This is for your private eye, not for Savage. It's about that clause in the contract giving you the refusal of any subsequent book. I'm in a slight difficulty there. Any original book: yes. But a very distinguished person's wife once asked me if I would care to edit or 'ghost', her husband's diary, written quite intimately before he became famous, but showing, very wonderfully, the growth of his mind and the slow accumulation of its knowledge. The book would be Macmillan's in any case.
I haven't said either yes or no: and will not, for a long time yet. 'No', probably, since I haven't much desire to undertake so difficult a scissors and paste job... but its anonymity appeals to me: and if I felt at a loose end, say two years hence, then I might try my hand as an editor.
Please keep this entirely to yourself. The existence of the materials is not known, even to Macmillan's... indeed only five people do know of it.
T. E. Shaw.
|Last revised:||8 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