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T. E. Lawrence to D. G. Hogarth


14.1.26

Some illegible name has written me for a gratis copy of my book, the owner of it having been with me in Arabia. United Services Club. Mentions you. Is it Dowsett, of the Armoured Cars?

Encyc. Brit. Yes by all means. Let me try my hand... (The red ink is not for publication).

'L's family, though (Leicestershire) not Irish in origin, had been settled for some while (Queen Elizabeth) near Dublin (60 miles N.W.) His only recent ancestor (since Sir W. Raleigh) with oriental interests appears to have been that (rogue) Vansittart who worked in India beside Clive and Warren Hastings, but not always in harmony with them.'

Does that ring with the right loftiness of the D.N.B.?

At it again....

'L. the second of five brothers, was educated privately (yes), at the City of Oxford School (very little, very reluctantly, very badly), and at Jesus College, Oxford (not at all). After passing the first examinations for the Honour School of Modern History he was elected to a Demyship of Magdalen College Oxford, which he held (in absence) till 1919. In 1919 he was elected to a research fellowship at All Souls College.' (which he held for three years)

'L. was interested in the history of the Crusades, and explored Syria from 1910 onwards studying their records on the ground. At this time he picked up some colloquial Arabic, which supported his request to be attached (D.G.H. did this for him) to the British Museum Expedition about to excavate Carchemish, on the upper Euphrates. He worked for the British Museum for some years, and for the P.E.F. for some weeks in 1914. On the outbreak of war he was appointed (by D.G.H.) to the Geographical Section of the General Staff, in the W.O.'

After the War.

'L was attached (with regret) to the British Delegation during the Peace Conference. Afterwards he resided for a (constipated) year in All Souls. In 1921 he was made Adviser to the Colonial Secretary (Mr. Winston Churchill) upon Arab affairs, and as such (silently) attended the Cairo Conference, and passed some (uncomfortable) later months in Palestine. In 1922 he resigned this appointment to enlist in the R.A.F. in which (after some interim misfortunes) he was still serving in 1926.'

I'm sorry. It's the Encyc. not the D.N.B. and they probably want only four lines. Don't over-stress the war period. As it fades into distance, the war becomes a small affair.

T.E.S.

Source: DG 491-2
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 27 January 2006


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