Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to Sydney Cockerell
No, I cannot stand by your memo. The John drawing I didn't pay for, and so couldn't envisage selling: and I don't much like drawings in public galleries. There is something civil, sociable, intimate about a drawing. John gave me four. Lionel Curtis has one, Mrs Shaw one, Herbert Baker one, and you one. Some day we'll find a private home, for yours. Kennington isn't the ideal private home, because he draws so beautifully himself. John, Roberts and Kennington are three extraordinary draughtsmen. John so gracious, Roberts so powerful, Kennington so alive. Roberts first, I think, for pure line. Did you see that little show of the Seven Pillars pictures in the Leicester? They tell me it was a Roberts knock-out! The queer little man. His camel-march in the Seven Pillars came out as much the best reproduction, too. I wish the Fitzwilliam had him decently represented: but my power to help you has passed with the success of the Leicester Gallery show, I expect. They tell me nearly the whole set was sold. I empowered the Bank people, to whom I owe a lot of money, to realise on anything they could: but I never dreamed that a majority would sell. Eddie Marsh got the Camel-March.
The Cape abridgement is no good. Purposely I whittled it into nonentity before he got it. However it will do its duty and sell about three editions, and so extinguish my debt.
I wish I were again in the happy position of being near enough to Cambridge to refrain from the pleasure of week-ending there! This Karachi is a sorry place. I fell like Ovid in the Danube: but am happier than him in being able to terminate my exile when the purpose of it has been fulfilled.
The printing and lay out of the Seven Pillars is quite excellent. I saw it again the other day after a four month's rest... and it was acceptable.
|Last revised:||1 January 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