T. E. Lawrence to Bruce Rogers
Dear B. R
This is going to be a fine thing, this book - all except the inadequate translation, of course!
I think that Gods should not have too much life about them. Men cannot have too much life. Athene admittedly is a difficulty: she keeps on dodging in and out of bodies, doesn't she ? I like '2' best of the three pencil drawings. The crossed arms please me, and the stiff yet vigorous pose of Athene. I think the lord of the thunderbolt might be a half-head taller yet. I'd make him larger than any other God or Man.
I hope you will not scrap '4'. 1 like those three figures very much. They are really funny, in their regard for one another.
The only figure 1 do not greatly love is the Zeus in '3' and also the Athene who faces him. They are a little too 'social' to please me. Their excess of movement makes the drawing more an illustration than a decoration: and while I like decorated books, I do not like illustrated books. Some formalism; great dignity; and a rich line. Those are the things which would go well with the Odyssey, I fancy. The simplicity of 1; the vigour of 2; and the humour of 4: I approve of all those. But poor 3 does not seem to be happy.
As for the postal service of Cattewater - there isn't any. We collect our own letters from Plymouth by a RAF postman, daily!
T E Shaw
The gold drawing is rich, isn't it? It will be a splendid book (a.e.t.i.t.)
Surely the Athene of 3 is the type of woman who would cackle?
|Last revised:||6 July 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