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Updated July 2012

T. E. Lawrence to H. W. Bailey

Ozone Hotel


Dear Bailey

Good Lord, No! One doesn't answer this sort of thing. Bray is quite an honest muddle-headed sort of chap, who believed everything he wrote. His publishers are just splashing what little he wrote about me in the hopes that people will take it up and talk about it and so buy the book. It is pure advertisement and unfortunately it advertises me as well as the book, bother them. Next best thing for a public man, after being praised, is to be loudly abused. It pays.

Only, I don't want notice, and the only way to gain quiet is to be quiet. This will not last six months and doesn't matter.

But you see of course, that there are two sides to the question. I've been absurdly over-praised by Lowell Thomas, Graves, and Liddell Hart: praised for all sorts of accidents as if I had intended them and praised for leaving undone things that I simply hadn't the power to do. I think we all worked like beavers, and did the best we could - but if we had known everything there was to know and what was to happen in the next 20 years and a few other little things like that, well, we'd have done marvels; nearly as much as Thomas & Co. say we did. Don't worry about it. Shoot only when necessary.

[3 lines omitted]


  • N. N. E. Bray, Shifting Sands (London. Unicorn Press, 1934).

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Source: DG 828-9
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 18 January 2006


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