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T. E. Lawrence to Mrs Thomas Hardy


Karachi.

5.V.27

Dear Mrs Hardy

I should have answered your letter three months back: but you know how it is: especially in this place, which is just a hot-storage for me, for the years which must pass before I may return to England. Somehow letter-writing rubs in the sense of being away.

The death of Wessex is a loss to me. He was so firm and decisive a being: one who always knew his own mind, and never hesitated to change it, if he thought fit. So doing he showed a very healthy disregard of the feelings of merely temporary visitors. Few dogs appeal to me: but Wessex gained my very definite respect. And the poor old beast (after I felt so towards him) changed his tone, and became very kind. Max Gate will not seem quite right now. He must be a very great loss to you and T.H. I'm so sorry: I hope you and T.H. are otherwise well. 

I'm grateful for your kindly judgement of The Seven Pillars. It is inevitable that people should call it less good than the 'Oxford' text, in which I first lent it you: but their judgement leaves me cold. Only I have read the two so closely as really to see the differences: and my taste in every case approved the changes. The Seven Pillars is 85% of the Oxford text: and the little cut out was all redundant stuff: mostly superfluous adjectives.

The giving away of your second copy will not be easy! Probably you have done it by now. By good fortune its sale-room value has risen sharply, so that I have not to be sorry for the subscribers who bought it as a speculation.

The Cape abridgement is selling like ripe apples, they tell me. I hate that little book.

My restlessness, on first seeing Karachi, has faded. I keep myself strictly to camp, and make my time pass easily enough with books, reading and re-reading the old things I have read and liked, but not treated ceremoniously enough, in my youth.

Yours ever

T E Shaw.

Source: DG 515-516
Checked: dn/
Last revised: 9 February 2006


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