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Updated July 2012

T. E. Lawrence to Douglas Carruthers

13, Birmingham Street,

2 May 1934.

Dear Carruthers,

I got to the Power Boat Yard to-day, after a fortnight in Wolverhampton, and found your letter waiting for me. Alas, for me Arabia is no longer an interest. I cut away from the Middle East sharply in 1922, when I enlisted: and the R.A.F. has since engrossed me. I have been for three years now helping to improve our breeds of boats.

I remember your Guarmani, and also a Dane's book on Hasa, (translated by Leeds, I fancy). Those quite limited war-time editions must by now be unobtainable.

Some society in the States years ago brought out a great block of undigested Musil translation: and the only concrete suggestion I can make, is that perhaps they might collaborate with the R.G.S. by taking half-cost and half the edition. I cannot tell you what society it was - but they wrote offering me the book, and I had to decline it. Barracks don't provide book-shelving enough!

I cannot comment or make notes. My Arab show was so distracted, and so long ago: and such a sickening lot has been written about it. I hate it.

As for cash - please believe me when I tell you that my total income (for many years) has been below Income Tax level. I wish there was any prospect of its ever reaching three figures again. Two pounds a week would do me so well: you will understand, however, that it wouldn't come to much, in books! Tastes, to-day, severely simple!

Rule me out please. I'm a burnt squib, as far as Arabia goes; but a tolerable fitter, and handy on a motor boat.


T. E. Shaw.


Source: DG 800-1
Checked: mv/
Last revised: 7 March 2006


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