T. E. Lawrence to his mother
Here is May, and still it is cold, and nothing has happened to write about. Last week we flew to Calshot, and went over to Cowes in a motor boat. No great changes. Lepe and Langley were much the same, from overhead: a few more houses. Fawley of course is all different, with its oil works. I did not have time to go out of Eaglehurst camp, so saw nothing of the country, except from the air. Back there in July, I expect.
I'm glad you like Malvern, and your house: but if it is as cold as here you will be still imprisoned indoors. Perhaps there is a motor-car which Bob drives about. Most English doctors have little closed cars for visiting their patients. I wonder how long you will stay in Malvern. The Shaws will be there in August, for a festival of his plays at the theatre, and I want to try and come up for one evening, to see the new play: only it will be difficult to get the time off. We are kept very closely at it, here.
By all means take some of the rhododendrons from Clouds Hill. There are only too many of them. I had hoped to put in some red and some white ones, to mix up the colour: and a lot of magnolias, which carry beautiful great flowers. There seems to be some hitch over the purchase. I've given them a week to say yes or no. Tired of waiting, I am. Epping Forest want Pole Hill, to add to the forest. I'm likely to agree to that, as it would be a crime to build streets over it. Only, of course, it means I won't get much money for it: perhaps only about £4,000. Its real value is as building land, for which I don't wish to sell it. However, it will be months before they settle anything.
I've only been three times out of camp since I've been here: twice to London for a few hours, and last week to Plymouth, to eat a meal with Lady Astor, who came here and looked me up. I like her: though she is tiring, If you go to Clouds Hill, see Sergt. Knowles, who will help you, if you want any help. Your Inverness clock is in his cupboard, for dryness sake. I've told Lionel Curtis he may use the cottage, for week-ends, if he likes. The tenants have gone. It is not damaged. The last time I was in London I met Arnie, late at night, near Russell Square. He knew me, and told me about his book. G.B.S. is in the Adriatic, on an island.
If you see Leeds again, tell him I will not be able to come to Oxford till after September, after this Schneider Cup Race. They have set me on to do some of the clerical work for that.
|Last revised:||14 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