T. E. Lawrence to G. W. M. Dunn
I've been up and down twice lately on somebody else's legal business... so have been off my rails. 601 sounds good for A.C.Hs... but there is no question of my moving before April, anyhow; and then only if this place changes character suddenly. It is homelike at present, and that makes up for its remoteness. I should like to be near London, but that cannot be until there is the new C.A.S.
The Odyssey was done as well as I could. No pleasure in it however. I don't know Cotterill's version. There are 27 prose English translations!
I'll send you my R.A.F. notes some day. They are in typescript and hard to read. I intended to make a book about the Air Force, and gave it up after an accident.
Meeting people. I have not met G.K.C.: Shaw always calls him a man of colossal genius. I cannot read his journalism, which is perhaps a good sign. T.S. Eliot I have not met. His poetry is good, if rather sparing. His prose is pompous. His criticism mock-profound. His range of interests very queer and spotty. Yes, I'd like to meet him; shall we hunt him out, some day? He is in U.S.A. now. Epstein I've not met. He's a great sculptor. John is in ruins, but a giant of a man. Exciting, honest, uncanny. Barrie is too grim and hard. There are claws under his fur, obviously. Old, of course, and not strong. He is not forthcoming. G.B.S. is not a vast electric discharge. He is more like a cocktail. Very beneficent and plain to read. Slightly hard of hearing and short of sight - by which I mean, prone to imagine the whole from an incomplete part. You are right about Sybil Thorndike I think. Eddie Marsh is a charming joke, so kind and nice. Nice is the word. He does not talk very well, but is very sensitive to feelings. Beverly Nichols writes well and should be a human person. He strikes me as smaller than his reputation.
Yes, there are lots of people to meet, aren't there. I want to meet Yeats and Epstein and Eliot some day and how.
Books. I have two Owens and two Hopkins at my cottage: or I think I have. Both are remarkable. You shall have one of each as soon as I am free to get there for a weekend. My life is full of books, and I get heaps of them, every week. There must be 2000 in the cottage, all going to waste in the hope that I will live there after 1935 when I leave the R.A.F. The Scented Garden I once saw in a printed English text. It wasn't significant. Flecker (whom I knew very well) didn't value it.
I have not heard of Lawrence Hyde. Who is he, and when did he write... or does he? And what are the books? Novels?
|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