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T. E. Lawrence to B. H. Liddell Hart

Myrtle Cottage


Indeed I am a sinner: yet not so bad as you judge, for I wrote at length about your Foch. That was last year, in my last visit to Plymouth, between two spells in the boat-yard here. The R.A.F. needed to re-equip itself with new motor-boats, and chose me to test and tune the new boats, and to watch over their building.

Foch is too far behind me, now, for that letter to be re-written. The gist of it was that you left me with a better opinion of Foch, the man, than I had had. You demolish him thoroughly as a soldier: as a politician he needed no other evidence than his own to discredit him. But as a human being he came out well and honourably in what you wrote.

I met the old boy only in 1919, when he was only a frantic pair of moustaches. So I was glad to see the better side.

Surely I sent you the letter? Did it miscarry, to a wrong address - you are as nomadic as myself, and I never know where to imagine you - or did you get it and forget it? At least I remember writing it. Not a real critique: but enough to bring out my feelings. You touched on Colin, I think, too: but my memory is too full of chines, transoms and engine torques, which have driven all books out of it. Sherman, being more in perspective, made a rounder and firmer biography.

My Scotch visit was a 3-week affair only, to deliver one of the new boats to its station.

Mrs. L-H? This is her postscript. I hope she finds Geneva a little less dull than I remember it. Isn't there a Conference there, on Armaments? I faintly remember my friend Dawnay going from his cottage in the Forest here either to Geneva or Lausanne. Happy Swiss: they get all the conferences!

(P.S.) Do you 'Telegraph' yet? Is it happy on its new lines, and prosperous?

I should be here till late in June, I think.

Source: B:LH 47-8
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 15 February 2006

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