Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to Sydney Cockerell
March 6th, 1935
I refuse the title, you see, for others as well as for myself!
Yes, I was sorry when I heard of your eye inflammation. Both are or will be affected, I fear; and so good a bookman will feel miserable at even three days' blindness! Your maid is a sensible creature, though I noted with joy that she shared my doubts - and hesitation - as to pronouncing conjunctivitis.
By now the worst of it will be over. I hope it does not leave headaches behind. Be very easy with your reading for some weeks.
I said to Leeds (next day or so) that he ought to copy your rug dodge in the Ashmolean. A very few, well worn, good but not excessively rare rugs, I think. They helped uncommonly to break up the oppressive vasty floors which make museums so tiring to the eye. Nice spot, the FitzBilly.
As for the John portrait drawing, you have so many better things that its loss will not be anything but a relief. It is rarely horrible to find one's pictured effigy on show. I shall put it away, or lend it to a private house. Until I'm dead, I shall care about keeping myself out of sight. So please send it to Clouds Hill (unframed) where it will find several other Johns to comfort it.
No: I have no mind to write anything. I think I have acquired some of the necessary technique - now that I have nothing to say!
Probably I shall wonder for most of this year about England, and if so I shall call again and hope to find you in solid health.
T. E. Shaw
|Last revised:||1 January 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