T. E. Lawrence to Miss L. P. Black
Dear Miss Black
I should have written before to acknowledge the chocolates - but the pudding came, to suspend judgement. Also I have to ration letters now, and write only the more urgent ones. My rule is not more than six letters per day. They grow rather a tax upon my pocket and time!
However yesterday the pudding fell. We had been looking at it for a week and more, where it sat in its toupéed bowl on the shelf of our Marine Stores: and we finally decided we couldn't stand any further delay. So we drew a new galvanized iron bucket from Main Stores - on plea that a motor boat needed it - and hung the pudding from its top and set the whole affair on the office stove. Relays of us kept it boiling all the morning and in the afternoon we suspended work and ate it, with clasp knives, out of packing-paper plates. It was excellent. You would have been astonished to see how quickly it went away. That is the best of youth and cold winds and dirty weather. Nobody broke a tooth on the treasures buried in it. They are very grateful.
I see I have passed over the fate of the chocolates. They went down very well!
It was good of you. We settled to hold our Christmas now, because the winter leave period is just opening and hereafter our numbers will be going down and up, irregularly.
T E Shaw
My Odyssey has been published in the States in a cheap edition (acknowledged authorship) and is said to be selling fairly. It will be amusing if I can collect some dollars off them. Prose justice!
|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