T. E. Lawrence to Edward Marsh
2. 2. 27
Some address! I hope you got the camel-ride in good order from Kennington. He told me you had rung him up, and that it was arranged. Since the first time I saw it, I've felt that it was a very fine thing, and it was a disappointment when Aitken refused it, on Bone's advice.
The purpose of this letter is for you to file it till the critical moment, and then remind Winston that he's promised me a copy of his Vol III, shortly to be published. Rumour says that there is no duty on books sent by book-post. Sounds ungracious, as a hint, but some weeks they only give us five rupees, and India is more expensive for troops than home service.
Karachi is not too dismal, but Indians are a bit of a comedown after the other races I've had to meet. There's a suppressed meanness about them which makes me regret our likeness in shape.
The voyage out on a trooper (H.M.T. Derbyshire) was something vigorous in the way of experience. Your improper department has ruled that at sea three airmen can be packed into the airspace of two sailors. Kindly meant, no doubt, to keep us warm and comfortable. But in the Red Sea and the Gulf we grew sick of each other's smell.
Try not to forget that book. Half our day is leisure, and I am not very good at entertaining myself.
T E S.
|Last revised:||11 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