Updated July 2012
T. E. Lawrence to Bruce Rogers
Dear B. R.
Very welcome back! Back, you will notice, with a smile. You seem right, somehow, on this side.
I'm 'out' now, of the R.A.F. and sitting in my cottage rather puzzled to find out what has happened to me, is happening and will happen. At present the feeling is mere bewilderment. I imagine leaves must feel like this after they have fallen from their tree and until they die. Let's hope that will not be my continuing state.
Money is very short, and this is the only spot, apparently, where I can afford to live: but it is too soon to judge of that. In a few months' time I will know for sure if my savings are enough, or not. Meanwhile I am practising a not un-amusing penury - or parsimony, rather. Also I work enough at wood-cutting and gathering pipe-laying and building to tire me out thoroughly by each early afternoon... and then follows a heavenly laze, in the sun, if available, or by my fires if not.
But on the whole I think I prefer engrossment to comfort. Perhaps comfort is an acquired taste which grows with indulgence?
We must meet: and I cannot put you up. My activities have reduced the cottage to chaos and almost most forbid me to sleep in it! So tell me where and when you will be somewhere (London and Oxford are equi-distant from here) and I shall do my best to arrive.
Your Melville book might be of great value. Clarel was not wholly good. His notes for it (which these must be, I think, will afford a very valuable check on how he wrote. As for the Bible... if you find a spoiled sheet, may l have it? Those I had at Plymouth got too soiled to be fair. Dirty places, R.A.F. workshops.
|Last revised:||7 February 2006|
T. E. Lawrence chronology
1888 16 August: born at Tremadoc, Wales
1896-1907: City of Oxford High School for Boys
1907-9: Jesus College, Oxford, B.A., 1st Class Hons, 1909
1910-14: Magdalen College, Oxford (Senior Demy), while working at the British Museum's excavations at Carchemish
1915-16: Military Intelligence Dept, Cairo
1916-18: Liaison Officer with the Arab Revolt
1919: Attended the Paris Peace Conference
1919-22: wrote Seven Pillars of Wisdom
1921-2: Adviser on Arab Affairs to Winston Churchill at the Colonial Office
1922 August: Enlisted in the Ranks of the RAF
1923 January: discharged from the RAF
1923 March: enlisted in the Tank Corps
1923: translated a French novel, The Forest Giant
1924-6: prepared the subscribers' abridgement of Seven Pillars of Wisdom
1927-8: stationed at Karachi, then Miranshah
1927 March: Revolt in the Desert, an abridgement of Seven Pillars, published
1928: completed The Mint, began translating Homer's Odyssey
1929-33: stationed at Plymouth
1931: started working on RAF boats
1932: his translation of the Odyssey published
1933-5: attached to MAEE, Felixstowe
1935 February: retired from the RAF
1935 19 May: died from injuries received in a motor-cycle crash on 13 May
1935 21 May: buried at Moreton, Dorset