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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to Sydney Cockerell


Dear 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.

Yours ever


Source: SCC 364-5
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 1 January 2006

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