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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to Clare Sydney Smith

119, Clarence Road,
East Cowes,
Isle of Wight


I'm sorry, but Whitsun was booked a while ago. I am to meet Bruce Rogers, my American printer, and do proofs with him; for a new edition of the Odyssey translation. He had just come across from the States and is awaiting me in London.

This job (of boat-building) needed doing. At Cowes I am helpless, all the contracts having been long placed - but never again, while I am involved. The waste of money, the stupidity, the ineffectiveness.... I get angry in thinking of it. The Air Force must do better, if it is to justify itself.

I hope the Carlow boat goes well and that the weather helps. Think of me, working hard in Cliffords Inn, in a room so dark that the lights burn all day. I have so much liked this past fortnight in the island, and ridden all over it peacefully, no crowds having yet arrived. One M.L. came into the roads and I wondered if it was Carlow's - but it went at once, before I could ask.

Last week I met the Old Lord and Eric Lord, Saunders Roe are a little better off, in the aircraft department, through selling Clouds and Cuttys. Their boatyard is nearly dead: only they have just built a little £900 cruiser that is good value. Desperate times for ship-builders.

The first of these pinnaces launches about June 12, and after its trials I want to give myself a holiday. I shall write again then-abouts.

Commend me to all bipedal and quadrupedal Smiths!


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Source: GR 213-4
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 4 July 2006


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