T. E. Lawrence to Clare Sydney Smith
I can't say yet about London. You must realize that Batten is not what it was. Week-ends are back to normal, from noon Saturday till midnight Sunday. That only gives me from 6.30 p.m. on Sat. till 2 p.m. on Sunday in London. Not enough for my useful purpose.
I saw Elgar last Summer. He greatly praised his newly recorded violin concerto by Menuhin, which is being played again in the Albert Hall this Sunday. He played us some of the records and they were magnificent. He is also well on with his 3rd Symphony! Ours is his second. Don't publish this fact.
The Odyssey has gone towards you. Don't be severe on the feeble thing.
Yesterday I went down and put her battery into the Biscuit and pressed the button. The engine turned over well. No petrol, of course, but a fortnight might see her going again. W/Cmdr. Burling has just bought an 8-metre sailing yacht, now at Falmouth, and [is] coming up [in] her soon. That gives him 4 boats here and two in Scillies.
About Christmas... how do you stand? I spend it in Batten, and hope to get to London just after it: for my bike has to be registered and insured, etc., before Dec. 31st. Don't know yet what we will get for leave then: perhaps five days. Of course you will probably be in Burton.
Am I dreaming, or is your du Cros sister going to be married? 'Pat' it was. Somebody told me.
I'm so glad it is Singapore. An interesting station, and a quick one. Only he will be A/Commodore before his term ends. Will that bring him home? Geoffrey Salmond's forthcoming elevation delights me. I want so many changes made right away in the R.A.F. (Geneva permitting!)
What about Biffy? Napier's sounded good: I hope he is happier.
|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