Putting T.E. Lawrence's writings online
Welcome to the T.E. Lawrence Writings project - something that would have been inconceivable before the internet and is certainly beyond its subject's wildest dreams.
Yet Lawrence, throughout his life, was both a communicator and a committed technophile. Were he alive today, he would surely have seized the opportunities presented by the internet.
Lawrence biographers have often based controversial arguments on carefully-selected quotes from his writings. This has been especially true in Britain, where trade publishers and the media expect biographers to come up with novel and/or sensational findings.
Here you will find a far wider sample of Lawrence's writings - and can therefore hope to reach a more balanced view.
Before the site rebuild began in spring 2012 the site contained:
Texts of 750 letters by T. E. Lawrence
Seven Pillars of Wisdom (subscribers' abridgement, 1926)
The Mint, in full and expurgated texts
Revolt in the Desert, opening chapters
The Forest Giant, a novel translated from French
The Odyssey of Homer, translated by Lawrence
32 shorter writings (articles, reports, book reviews, introductions)
Our first priority is to get all this material back online, after which we will add more.
How to find what you are looking for
To locate a particular title or correspondent, use the alphabetical contents lists linked across top of the page.
To locate works or letters written at a particular date, use or the chronological contents lists linked in the left-hand margin.
- To find names, or topics, or quotations, use the search box at the top of the page. This searches both the T.E. Lawrence Studies and Castle Hill Press websites.
About the project
The T.E. Lawrence Writings project (which originally had its own URL, telawrence.net) has two objectives.
1. Writings by T.E. Lawrence now out of UK
We are bringing together in this searchable website all T.E. Lawrence's published works and letters that have gone out of British copyright since 1 January 2006. These writings will include the content of major published works and collections and also material that, in the past, has only been available in costly limited editions.
The works will include the subscribers' abridgement of Seven Pillars of Wisdom, The Mint, Lawrence's two published translations, and numerous minor writings.
The core of the letters here will be the 583 published in David Garnett's selection The Letters of T.E. Lawrence (1938). These give a rounded overview of the whole of Lawrence's life. However, there will be as many letters again from other sources such as T.E. Lawrence to his Biographers (1938), The Home Letters of T.E. Lawrence and his Brothers (1954), a number of private-press collections, autobiographies, articles, etc.
2. Writings by T.E. Lawrence still protected by UK
European copyright still covers writings by Lawrence first published less than fifty years ago. We cannot post these writings, but if they have been published we can tell you where to find them. We will therefore detail them, with page references, in the chronological and alphabetical contents lists. For information about the works containing them, look up the reference in the list of abbreviations.
Editions of Lawrence's writing first published within the past fifty years can be seen in major T.E. Lawrence collections and in many scholarly libraries. Some are still in print. In order of first publication they include, notably:
A. W. Lawrence, ed., Letters to T. E. Lawrence (1962)
H. Montgomery-Hyde, Solitary in the Ranks [Trenchard correspondence] (1977)
Malcolm Brown, ed., The Letters of T. E. Lawrence (1988)
Jeremy Wilson, ed., T. E. Lawrence, Letters to E. T. Leeds (1988)
T. E. Lawrence Seven Pillars of Wisdom, The Complete 1922 'Oxford' Text (1997, 2003)
Jeremy Wilson, series editor, T. E. Lawrence Letters volumes (2000 et seq, in print) This is the major scholarly edition of T.E. Lawrence's correspondence.
The Oxford Text of Seven Pillars of Wisdom and the T.E. Lawrence Letters series have been indexed by Hazel K. Bell, whose index of Seven Pillars won the 2005 Wheatley Medal. We are building an integrated compilation of these indexes, which will also include her earlier index to Lawrence of Arabia, The Authorised Biography
When complete, this Writings section will contain over 1,000 of Lawrence's letters. It will be a remarkable biographical reference-source and also a considerable literary asset; its content will offer many insights into the period in which Lawrence lived.
Time spent on the project is entirely voluntary. I would like to thank Mary Veres, Derek Norwell and Michael Green for their contributions, and also Philip Kerrigan, Ed Maggs and Peter Metcalfe for lending copies of scarce publications. We are drawing on electronic transcripts of Lawrence's works and correspondence made during my research for the Authorised Biography and for the on-going T.E. Lawrence Letters series editions and other Castle Hill Press publications.
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