T. E. Lawrence to Edward Marsh
That a cursed shame, to write to you the 25th letter of tonight! Tomorrow at dawn I'm due to fly to Calshot, for a day or two or three in the forthcoming Schneider Cup zone: and I saw the vast pile of letters in my locker and said 'those shall be answered before I go': and they are all finished. Yours wasn't a letter but something very magnificent: Lady Chatterley. I'm re-reading it with a slow deliberate carelessness: going to fancy that I've never read a D.H.L. before, and that it's up to me to appraise this new man and manner. D.H.L. has always been so rich and ripe a writer to me, before, that I'm deeply puzzled and hurt by this Lady Chatterley of his. Surely the sex business isn't worth all this damned fuss? I've met only a handful of people who really cared a biscuit for it.
This isn't a letter: it's only a receipt.
By the way, are you all right (speaking terms, I mean) with Maurice Baring? Because I sent him my R.A.F. MS two or three days ago, and it might interest you to borrow it off him when he's finished it. M.B. is an amateur of the R.A.F., like me: but he doesn't know the other ranks in it, and won't like their dirt and brutality. In some ways it's a horrible little book. Like over-brewed tea.
Ever so many thanks for the book.
|Last revised:||7 March 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