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T. E. Lawrence to Noël Coward

Mount Batten,


Dear N.C.,

It is very good to laugh: and I laughed so much, and made so many people laugh over your 'may I call you 338' that I became too busy and happy to acknowledge your letter.

I hope Liverpool went off well. Edinburgh - so the press said, but how they lie - went into fits over your mixed grill. I fancied you were coming thence direct to London, but clearly not. It must be very hard and uphill work winning province after province before attacking the headquarters: and London is likely to be your easiest conquest, too. The bits I saw went so swingingly.

Your praise of my R.A.F. notes pleases me, of course, more than it puzzles me. I'm damned if I can see any good in them. Some artifice - yes: some skill - yes: they even come off, here and there: but the general impression on me is dry bones. Your work is like sword-play; as quick as light. Mine a slowly painful mosaic of hard words stiffly cemented together. However it is usually opposites that fall in love. At any rate I propose to go on looking forward, keenly, to seeing more of your works and work, and perhaps of yourself, if a kind fate lets me run into you when you are not better engaged.

I'm hoping to get to London some time in October, for a weekend perhaps.


T E Shaw.

Source: DG 696-7
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 2 February 2006

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