T. E. Lawrence to Clare Sydney Smith
27 Jan. 1932.
This is scandalous. I have just realized that it is weeks since I wrote to anyone, and there is a litter of papers expecting action all round me.
Your first letter was difficult for me to answer. I could talk to you better, I think. Noel Coward is in S. America, and G. B. S. in S. Africa, so that time does not press. Perhaps we can leave it till I see you next.
I have taken root in Hythe, almost. The Air Ministry want to adopt a hydraulic oil-motor engagement of gears, in the 200 class, and for weeks we have been re-designing and modifying the systems offered us. I hope it is nearly finished. It has been very difficult.
I have orders, also, to write a handbook on the 200 boats. This shows me how little I know. Between these jobs my days and my nights are wholly occupied. Hence I neglect everything else. No music; no books. All work, they say, is dulling. At least it leaves me unconscious of time and neighbours.
I hope Manston is not dragging in these winter days. If only I could give you half my work!
Last Saturday I saw S/M Furner off on the troopship for Basra. He was cheerfully expecting the G/C to get there this year. Have you any news?
S/Ldr. Lloyd's fat brother is flying a new Sarou amphibian at Caishot.
When my toils finish themselves - or I finish them - I shall try for you again. A Moth could land at Hamble, I think?
|Last revised:||2 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