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Updated July 2012

T. E. Lawrence to B. H. Liddell Hart


13 Birmingham St.
Southampton

17 May 1934

Always I owe you two letters! Hard luck. I'm very sorry about the lunch with Ll.G. It struck me when I read it as a pleasant dream, and I should have liked to come: but then I forgot. These five new armoured boats fill the foreground, apparently; at least I am busy on them always. One is run-in, and waiting for the armour. The second has done the first 8 of its 20 hours, and all minor engine defects have been put right. In the last ten hours I do not expect anything to happen. Just one puts the polish on the pistons and bores. Then there are three more to do. They have not yet finished building.

Did you see a bad fake of an interview with me in the Daily Chronicle? Its local reporter fell into talk with me, promising not to repeat anything - and then spat out a travesty of what I said and he imagined. The Editor disowned him to the Air Ministry, and so averted trouble from my head!

Now about this other bloke - If you see the blighter do rub into him that I never have signed myself as Lawrence since 19 twenty something. He is years out of date. In fact he doesn't sound the right sort of man at all. Do you feel that I ought to do something? It is rather hard to catch him by post. However, there is Eliot; the Hon. E. Eliot... He is a very balanced solicitor, who looks after the legal interests of Revolt in the Desert. My trouble is that I cannot well risk legal expenses: but Eliot might feel able to assume that a 'T. E. Lawrence' in being today was an infringement of his trust property, for the Revolt Trust owns the property in that name. If so, he could ask the bloke to stop his games, and charge his trouble to the fund. I'd pay a small bill, up to 3 or 4 pounds, but couldn't risk the promising of more. Will you send on the suggestion (or perhaps this note) to Eliot and see if he can square his conscience to the idea? I can conceive of its seeming to him as if he might legitimately be drawn in, if the affair developed - and to prevent that he might stall the fellow off now.

Failing Eliot, I can't think of anybody else who would do - unless you tell the Daily Express of the existence of a bogus Colonel L.! That would properly boil it-

[2 lines omitted]

This is very kind of you. There must be many impersonators, I think, judging by the number of letters I get from stranger-acquaintances, many of them women of whom I appear to have taken some advantage. Sometimes when they get too urgent I have got the police to help me out by asking them to make the correspondence cease. Only this chap hasn't written to me, so I can't well do that, now... can I? [omission]


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Source: B:LH 215-16
Checked: mv/
Last revised: 9 March 2006

 



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