T. E. Lawrence to C. J. 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.
|Last revised:||21 January 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