T. E. Lawrence to R. V. Buxton
23. VI. 27.
Your marvellous letter sent me up, with a bounce into the Seventh Heaven.
Quando io udi questa profferta, [degna]
Di tanto grado, che mai non si estingue
Somehow I'd never, in my giddiest moments, expected that you would. I enclose a letter to Cape, which you may send on to him, if this six weeks delay finds the Trustees still of this most noble mind. [10 lines omitted]
However I live in hope that my most excellent board will continue to act in the spirit of Don Quixote, that finest of all Spaniards. It is incredibly glorious. The fact that I'd have done it myself, at the first solvent moment, is the only thing which lessens your glory. It takes from you the credit, not of the act, but of the intention. However, as The Seven Pillars says, the intention is nothing... but, my God, the Deed, the Deed! (Was it John Drinkwater, or The Seven Pillars?) Pardon my apparent drunkenness. I'm happy...
It's good news that the Ashmolean has taken the John drawing of D.G.H. That's the first breach in their wall against modernism. Perhaps they will eventually take the Feisal too.
Kennington tells me your bust is the best of the four. He may, I suppose, like Epstein, produce six of them. Hardly more. Sculptors have to do a mort of work on thin casts, and soon grow tired of repetition work.
My little note on the various editions and quantities of The Seven Pillars will, quite likely, bring down the price of complete copies. I meant it to. £500 is absurd.
The idiots think there are only 100 copies
If Cape does withdraw Revolt from sale, it may be wise to make known the reasons
i. That Revolt was reluctantly published to meet a liability.
ii. That the liability was happily met at 30,000 copies.
iii. That the sale of the book is now stopped by the author, by means of an enabling clause in the original contract, to avoid making a lot of unnecessary profit.
Eliot could write a letter in this sense, and sign it T. E. Shaw, and publish it anywhere he thought fit.
Glory be! You are an absolute trump.
Dust-storms yesterday and to-day: and I was on stores guard all last night, in the thick of it. This paper feels gritty!
|Last revised:||13 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