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Updated July 2012

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


Southampton
 18.VIII.34.

I've come up for breath, after a long period under the weather - including two wasted voyages - to find myself probably too late for the boat. Here is this, the Australian jest about my Odyssey, to return to you. The delay in that was because I sent it to Bruce Rogers, the printer, whose idea the 0. was, and whose is half the responsibility, at least.

I find that his withers are as little wrung as mine. The version was definitely made for non-scholars. I doubt whether this fellow is a scholar (he betrays no knowledge of Greek, only of other translations: had he known or used the original, he could have sunk my translation without trace. I slur over the difficult places, always) but he is assuredly a pedant: and pedants are sure to dislike it. I'm glad to have seen it, all the same. He gets quite hot, sometimes!

Here is the Violet-le-Duc catalogue-entry, too. It isn't a book to possess, but one to refer to. I call it a cheap price for what must be, in England, a rarity. I expect it is common in Paris: but then there is the franc exchange.

Also a letter from a woman to return.

As I said, I fear I have missed the boat, for lately a viking ship came from you: so I place you in Norway. Those longships were very finely built, and perfectly seaworthy. In a short sea they must have been wet: but if one hove-to and waited for it to blow out, one would be safe, if not comfortable. I don't think the Vikings were marvellous seamen. They coasted, and came ashore whenever it seemed threatening. Had they had better ships, they would have gone to America long before the Spaniards.


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Source: DG 814-5
Checked: mv/
Last revised: 7 March 2006

 



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