Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to his mother
It's almost the end of the year: so I'm writing again, though there is nothing to say. A letter of yours (October) came lately. I've given up trying to send locks. Clearly someone on the road likes such things. I'm tired of supplying his needs. Let him buy them.
Arnie is leaving Clouds Hill almost at once. Just now he has Florence there with him. It's a bad place to ask a visitor: and a bad time of year. The winter this year is sharp.
No thanks: no money. I am quite right that way just now. How I'll stand a year or so hence, when all the bills of the reprint of my book come in, I don't know. The subscribers (about 100) have paid £15 each, to date. That is £1,500 more due from them. The expenses to date are £4,500. The Bank has loaned the rest, against security from me. To meet the deficit I have sold Cape (for £3,000 cash + a royalty) the right to publish 1/3 of the book after Jan. 1. 1927. And there will be American serial and other receipts, too. Probably I'll come out of it well enough off. Arnie is to have a copy of the subscribers' edition. Would you like one? I propose to buy the liability of Clouds Hill off him. So that will be £400 more for his pocket. Clouds Hill is very beautiful and suits me. Though I will not live there till I have been as long in the Air Force as pleases me. You know I always wanted to be in the R.A.F. I've sent you a Blackwood article, in which Candler, an Indian journalist has written some butter and sugar stuff about me. Don't worry about that - or me - or anything. People are solitary things (myself especially so) and as long as it isn't true, I don't care what praise or blame I get.
My present name & address are
A/C II Shaw. 338171
R.A.F. Cadet College
but I may change to Ross in a month or two, so you had better continue to write to Clouds Hill, under any name. The Tank Corps Fellows will forward letters. Everybody up here knows who I used to be. I told them when I arrived. So all the wonder is over. Three years and a half now, my service. So I fit in well enough.
Yes I still have Boanerges: and ride it whenever the weather is good enough. Much snow lately. Arnie has a tiny car: not a good one.
|Last revised:||9 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