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T. E. Lawrence to Jonathan Cape



Dear Cape,

I’ve been sent wild stories of the genesis of Revolt in the Desert. If you like, make a 'third person' note in your Now and Then booklet saying:-

The abridgement of Mr. T. E. Shaw's Seven Pillars of Wisdom which we were able to publish by arrangement with him on March 10 last, under title Revolt in the Desert by 'T E Lawrence', was made by him in seven hours at Cranwell in Lincolnshire on March 26 and March 27 1926, with the assistance of two airman friends, A/A Knowles and A/c Miller. It was received by us (in the form of cut-down proofs of The Seven Pillars) on March 30, three days later, and reprinted immediately as we received it. There were no author's corrections, nor was this text ever submitted to anyone for advice or criticism. The only subsequent alterations were the division into chapters and the writing in (at the publisher's request) of three paragraphs to justify the inclusion of two much-desired illustrations from the many in The Seven Pillars.

The author has promised the subscribers to Seven Pillars of Wisdom that no further copies of this shall be published during his lifetime: and he will make no additions to the issued text of Revolt in the Desert.

Revolt was sold to us in order that our advance on its royalties might enable the author to commission extra drawings for The Seven Pillars: and the author's contract with us gives him the option of terminating our sale of the book when this advance is fully met.

There: short and sweet! Any good? I think so.


Source: DG 518
Checked: dn/
Last revised: 12 February 2006

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