T.E.Lawrence Correspondence with Bernard and Charlotte Shaw, 1922-1926 (T.E. Lawrence Letters)

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9781873141274: T.E.Lawrence Correspondence with Bernard and Charlotte Shaw, 1922-1926 (T.E. Lawrence Letters)

The Shaws were 65 when they met T.E. Lawrence in March 1922. At 33, he was young enough to be their son. G.B.S. was a world-famous playwright and a leading figure in the Fabian Society. Charlotte was a fitting companion. Highly cultured, she loved travel, literature, theatre and fine art. Lawrence too was famous, but as a war hero. His private ambition, however, was to be a great writer. While revising 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom', he had dreamed that it might one day rank among the masterpieces of world literature. Yet, in the aftermath of the war, he had greatly over-taxed himself drafting the book, and was now on the verge of breakdown. Activity and commitment had given place to withdrawal and destructive self-criticism. Wishing to show his completed (1922) text of 'Seven Pillars' privately to critics, he had eight copies produced. At the same time, seeking a refuge, he had arranged to enlist secretly in the ranks of the RAF. It is easy to condemn some of his letters during the next three years as pointless self-denigration, written by a man who appears to have lost all sense of proportion. Yet the inner conflict was real. At times, Lawrence was close to insanity. The turning points in his relationship with the Shaws are easy to define. To begin with, he corresponded with G.B.S. rather than Charlotte, though he soon discovered that she admired 'Seven Pillars'. Following a visit to Clouds Hill in December 1923 - their third meeting - Charlotte began to send parcels of novels, and these provided topics for discussion. Then, in July 1924, Lawrence accepted her offer to proof-read the subscribers' edition of 'Seven Pillars'. The first proofs were ready that September, and he continued sending batches until the book was completed in 1926. His letters to her provide a unique record of the project. There were two important events before the book was finished. The first, in June 1925, was Lawrence's threat of suicide, reported to the Shaws by Edward Garnett. The second was his transfer that August to the RAF Cadet College at Cranwell. The Shaws' country home was close to the road between Cranwell and London, and Lawrence soon began to visit them there. The Shaw letters - Lawrence's largest known post-war correspondence - fill four of nine volumes of his correspondence with writers in this series. Each volume has an index by Hazel K. Bell. The Letters series is part of the scholarly fine-press edition of Lawrence's writings published for subscribers by Castle Hill Press. The four Shaw volumes were issued separately to subscribers between 2000 and 2009. They are no longer sold separately, but are available as a 4-volume set, either in the quarter-cloth series binding by The Fine Book Bindery (ISBN 9781873141052), or a full-cloth library binding (ISBN 9781873141526). These sets are issued without dust-jackets.

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About the Author:

T. E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia"), 1888 - 1935, became famous for his role as a British liaison officer in the Middle East during WWI. But he hoped to be remembered more as a man of letters than a man of action. His account of the Arab campaigns, 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom', became a classic, as did his translation of Homer's 'Odyssey'. He chose to serve in the ranks from 1922 to 1935, from where he corresponded with many leading contemporaries. Several thousand of his letters survive.

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Lawrence, T. E.; Shaw, Bernard & Chalotte; Wilson, Jeremy and Nicole (Editors)
Published by Castle Hill Press, Fordingbridge (2000)
ISBN 10: 1873141270 ISBN 13: 9781873141274
Used Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
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Rickaro Books BA PBFA
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Book Description Castle Hill Press, Fordingbridge, 2000. Hardback. Book Condition: As New Fine. First Edition. A fine as new copy of this first volume in the definitive edition of these letters from T.E. Lawrence to Charlotte Shaw. 227pp. An edition limited to 600 copies. This is the edition bound in green cloth, teg, with blind stamped SS to front board. A handsome edition of what is an invaluable source for the student of TE. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" Tall. Bookseller Inventory # 049191

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