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T. E. Lawrence to C. J. Greenwood


Plymouth

26.X.32

Dear Greenwood,

I must reconcile myself, apparently, to buying your cheap books and having the dear ones given to me! It is very nice of you, and I am sorry. Publishers ought to live.

The Cunninghame Graham duly arrived. It is a disappointing book. Anything about the old Don should have been written with swagger. He is an artist thereat, as you see if only he takes his hat off to a lady in the street. His pen swaggers too: and he cannot therefore sustain a book: though he writes the best of five or six pages imaginable, and has a rain-in-the-air-and-on-the-roof-dripping mournfulness of Scotch music in his time-past style. A wonderful old man. Moghreb el Aksa was his most ambitious effort at book-writing, and after it he relapsed into his proper role, of filling albums with snap-shots - the best verbal snapshots ever taken I believe. Not much brain, you know, but a great heart and hat: and what a head of hair!

I shall be glad, very glad, to have the Hanley. The book isn't artistically necessary, I thought. Hanley was only getting something phlegm-like off his chest. If I knew his life-history probably I would know what. Accordingly for all the terrific power of it, I cannot regard it as a child of his daylight hours. No doubt I am wrong: but there is too much feeling in it for an extravagance, too much extravagance for cold fury. I shall value my copy, permanently.

I am happy that you have your eye on Marshall. There is something in him that makes me want to help. Don't hesitate to let me know if any eventually arose.

Yours ever,

T.E.S.

Source: DG 750-1
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 21 January 2006


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