T. E. Lawrence to Clare Sydney Smith
I strike at the date blindly, for the feel of the weather is almost May-like.
At Donibristle they kept me for an age, telling them all about their new boat, and showing them target-towing, etc.
One engine broke down on the way to Felixstowe. So instead of Ramsgate for the night, we could only make Dover: and the next day had to drive straight for Felixstowe. It was annoying to pass all along the Forelands and not be able to call! A good trip, otherwise.
I'm glad the Manston interlude is to end quickly. Basra ought to be a pleasant command: not that Basra itself seemed to me a very attractive spot. I can’t help you about a house, for I cannot think of anyone there I knew (except A/C Welch!), and S/M Furner has not written to me since he sailed. I expect they know his whereabouts at Batten, but I seem to be banished from that! It is sad, with the summer coming, to be away from it all. My job here is likely to last till late June, and it gets more, instead of less, occupying. Sometimes I like it, and another time everything goes wrong.
Sea coast... and cottages? That is very hard. In our run to Scotland we saw hundreds of miles of blank beaches, as if nobody lived near the sea: but that is an illusion, surely.
My head is like a pudding. That long night in the train, and four days of rushing between here and London since I got back have done me up rather. I would like a few days inland, and a chair, and books, and regular food. Instead I now go out to try a dinghy!
|Last revised:||3 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