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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to G. W. M. Dunn



Dear Dunn,

Like me, your main life chokes the side issues. The R.A.F. detached me to Hythe on special duty, to test and tune their new-type speed-boats for the Schneider Cup. So two months flew; leaving me weary and quite unrepentant.

Only the Odyssey is unfinished, and the unhappy publisher is unhappier, apparently. However, in his contract I put the clause 'service conditions permitting' and so am saved.

It is to be published by subscription only, through Emery Walker, and will be 12 guineas and then some! My brother is, I fancy, doing Herodotus. I hope so. It would be beyond a joke if the family competed in Odysseys: and he would probably out-do me, he being a scholar.

Even so you have not written any more poems, and don't feel like it? Ah well. There is always the R.A.F. to fall back upon. I am ever astonished at the chance given us. For thousands of years nature has held this mastery of the last element in her lap, patiently waiting for our generation, and you and I are of the lucky ones chosen.

By this lyric outburst you will understand that this morning I was hut orderly, and got checked for dull brass door-knobs: though I had really cleaned them: but a foggy sea-coast station does not deserve brass anywhere.

Some day spur yourself to write something. There was hope in your Engines.


T.E. Shaw

Source: DG 724-725  
Checked: dn/  
Last revised: 3 February 2006  

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