T. E. Lawrence to his mother
Thank you very much for the razor blades. That is two or three years' supply in hand, and should carry me through, however long I stop out here. Fortunately the weather has turned a little warmer, now, so that I feel happier. That chill in the morning and night air is a detestable feeling. Karachi is comfortable, in summer.
Please explain to Menon that the Seven Pillars was printed in a limited edition, and at a very high price, just so that it should not be read. I have no wish ever to lend anyone a copy, and I entirely disapprove of other people lending their copies about. Fortunately the book has so increased in value that every copy is now kept under lock and key, and I suspect their circulation will entirely cease. The only reason it was printed was to get the illustrations reproduced. It is not for the public. Explain, please, also to him that I do not leave camp. Incidentally Indians aren't allowed into camp, so he will not be able to see me if he comes up here. People are a nuisance. They will not understand that I have no intention of continuing the acquaintances I had before 1914. That part of the business is finished. I am a different person, now: and live with the Air Force, a class of man that didn't exist before the war. Eliot, my London solicitor, is a very decent fellow, and has done his book business very well. He and Robin Buxton manage the affairs of Revolt in the Desert between them. It has been selling fairly in Sweden and Germany, of late: but I hear little of it.
The film is a misfortune, but it was bound to occur, sooner or later. I hope it will be a bad film, I think it will be. They hope to finish it this year, apparently, and are talking of doing it in Palestine! I wonder if they realise how hard it will be to arrange it there.
I have lately read Arnie's sculpture book. It is good. The writing is better than the art-criticism, I fancy. He might have a success with some book on a non-technical subject.
|Last revised:||12 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