T. E. Lawrence to A. W. Lawrence
I am leaving Karachi soon, for some squadron up-country: and shall not regret going, on the whole. Will let you have my new address, when I have it.
They are nibbling again at the Odyssey idea. Hope it comes off.
Do you remember my telling you that you were my heir? There'll be about four pounds to inherit in cash, and £18 in the Bank, and some books, and Clouds Hill (perhaps). Not Pole Hill, which goes to Richards.
Also my copyrights which now no longer include Revolt in the Desert: but you will be O.C. The Seven Pillars, and the greater controls the less: so that should make up for the disappointment of the preceding paragraph.
I'm not consciously dying yet: I'm detailing these past facts to add a present fact to it. I have written out a clean copy of some notes I made in 1923 at Uxbridge, on a recruit's life in the R.A.F. of the time. They total some 80,000 words, and therefore amount, pretty well, to another book. Edward Garnett, of 19 Pond Place, Chelsea, is the owner of the manuscript, at present the sole copy. If he has it typed, which he may do, for security's sake, I'll have a copy sent to you. Garnett's son David will presumably inherit from his father, eventually.
The copyright of this MS. of course remains mine, for life: and passes to my heirs, for the statutory period, which I believe is 40 years after death. I will not publish these notes (whose present name is The Mint) in my day. And I hope that you will not (without the permission of the Chief of Staff of the R.A.F. for the time being) publish them, if the option is yours, before 1950. They are very obscene.
Regard these things as possible windfalls for your child. They will not profit you much. What else? You know that John Snow, of Mallam's, the Solicitors, in St. Giles, Oxford, has my will: and that Eliot and Robin Buxton (R.B. c/o Martins Bank, 68, Lombard Street and the Hon. E. Eliot, c/o Kennedy, Ponsonby and Ryde, of Guildhall Chambers, Bishopsgate St.) are trustees and owners of Revolt in the Desert: and that Eliot has my Power of Attorney, to look after The Seven Pillars: and that Richards (V.W.) of 3, Loudoun Road, St. John's Wood, N.W.8., has my books and can explain the situation of Pole Hill.
There, I think all those things are clear. As I say, I'm not conscious of dying: but while I'm informing you of the existence of The Mint I'd better put you again informed of the other arrangements. Handy-like, to have it in a nut-shell.
|Last revised:||27 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