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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to Mrs Lionel Curtis

13 Birmingham Street

1 August 1933

When I write Mrs. Lionel Curtis on an envelope, my pen struggles in my fingers to write Mrs. Lionel Tertis: but is there a Mrs. L. Tertis? Do try to meet her, and go with her to one of those comic receptions where a footman sings out the guests' names. They would go to the tune of John Brown's Body.

You were very good with your telephoning John to catch him right away. It should be this afternoon. Why did I not warn you that with John an appointment broken is like a grain of sand on the sea-shore - at Sandown, not Southend, of course. Common, I mean, not rare. He is incalculable: but with infinite tact and patience the fish can be landed. And what a fish! I think he will luxuriate in Lionel's head. You and I will be disturbed. We got to know the Prophet in the forties, when he still roared. John will see him silvery in the fifties, lace like and impalpable and fringed. Alas, it will be an unfamiliar prophet: but it will survive. Do you realise that posterity will call me beautiful, on the strength of those two John pencil sketches so artfully published by me in my books? I could wish the prophet the same fate, if I were an optimist.

Blickling - of course. I never thought of it. When your croft was burned, I had imagined your relapsing cosily into little Cliveden's modest splendour. But Blickling is far far more grand: and the Marquess has so many other houses [7 words omitted] that you do him a kindness to air one or other. Excellent.

Will you send me a line when the operation is over, to say if they are doing well?



Blickling, Norfolk, country seat of Lord Lothian

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Source: DG 771-2
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 20 January 2006


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