Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to Nancy Astor
[Postmarked Mar.2, 1931]
Forgive the typing of your slave: he makes his living by his keys. A poor living, as you will see.
I had meant not to write to you before it could be a song of 'nunc dimittis': and that is not yet. I think the battle is won. The Coroner was a perfect pet. He asked all the nibbly, difficult, hurtful questions, so innocently and so smoothly that everything came out. The poor officers did nobly (Wing Commander Smith at the head of them, adjuring all of us to tell the truth) and the press followed up, saying nothing mean or spiteful, but scaring the Air Ministry almost to death.
The best results are coming, though slowly. They have set the reforms afoot, and I think they may be trusted to push them through. I am watching very closely and will move another little lever or two when or if it is necessary. There has been no reflection upon me, and no threat to end my happy days. Good.
I need hardly say how grateful I am to you for your help. It is such a pleasure to get a thing done cleanly and naturally, without fuss. Nobody knows that anything has been done, and yet, I fancy, there will not be another case of this sort in our memories.
Now I am deader tired than ever; I type because my eyes are so faded. Tomorrow I get a change from Mount Batten, for I go to Hythe, near Southampton, for ten days instruction in a new fast motor boat being built for the R.A.F. Not very fast, I'm afraid, but faster than the old crocks.
To get away and forget camp for these few days will be a little bit of heaven. Ring me up if you come to Plymouth after March 9th; and let me take you up the Tamar for a picnic-tea.
If you see Walling any time please tell him he did a very good
piece of work.
|Last revised:||2 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