Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to Bruce Rogers
Dear B. R.
Here are 7 and 8: passed after a check. You will observe that I have nearly reached finality in these two chapters. The eleventh-hour changes are minute.
The variability of tense, in the description of the palace of Alcinous, I put down to a convention. The poet got wrought up and embarked on the 'historic present.' Many bad writers (and some good) do.
Yes, please send me the original MS. and I will then copy you some more books and pass them in. I have several more ready to fair-copy.
I don't quite know how my copyrights stand - or are they all the firm's? There was once talk of publishing the text as an ordinary book in England. I'd agree, if you did it as one of yours; but I should be sorry if it were done commercially. Have you any views? My shield and safety lies in its being a B-R book: if it comes out - here in England - on its merits as a translation, then I would carry the can.
America of course doesn't matter (in this respect only, I hasten to say!) but England is an annoying little gossip-shop. I enclose you one of my arguments. Do you think the firm would agree to refrain from commercial-publishing in England without my consent?
I hope the Liverpool Post's description of your black-and-white reputation will make you laugh!
|Last revised:||13 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