THOMAS E. LAWRENCE
(1888 - 1935) 'Lawrence of Arabia', British archaeologist, army officer, diplomat, and writer, who became renowned for his role in the Arab Revolt and the Sinai and Palestine Campaign against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. LAWRENCE'S SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM: 'MY ROTTEN BOOK' Superb content A.L.S. with his pseudonym 'T. E. Shaw', 2pp. 8vo., Cloud's Hill, June 4, 1925, to Whitney Hart Shepardson (1890-1966), who had served as aide to the State Department at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, where he may have met Lawrence. Lawrence discusses the sale of his 'Revolt in the Desert', an abridgement of his monumental 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom'. In part: '...I got tired of the slow collection of subscriptions: so instead sold (for 3,000 pounds) an abridgement of 1/3 of my rotten book to an English publisher called [Jonathan] Cape (Doran in America.....do you call it America? U.S.A. some pedants say) for` publication in 1927...So I want fewer subscribers, not more. Will you tell Outhwaite & Gary[?]...They have had an escape. All subscribers are receiving a sample of the book in a few weeks, with an invitation to recall their money, if they in the least dislike the apparent nature of their purchase. I hope to lose twenty of the ninety that way. [Paul von] Hindenburg's elevation (coupled with the descent of Eleanor-Shepardson II in your letter) was rather a good thing. I hope your parallel still holds. Babies are such changeable gadgets. I saw the prophet lately. He says he is going over your way again. Help...' One fold, and a small marginal stain on the second page, else fine. Lawrence's mention of 'the prophet' may have been a reference to Lionel George Curtis (1872–1955) whom he had earlier addressed by that title. Curtis was a British official and author who advocated British Empire Federalism and, late in life, a world state.