Updated July 2012
T. E. Lawrence to Flight Lieutenant H. Norrington
20. IV. 35.
In retirement there are no ranks... we are all 'have-beens' together: however you will not come to it for some years. For myself, I prefer work.
The cottage has become quiet, now: except for a beastly tit, which flutters up and down one window-pane for six hours a day. First I thought he was a bird-pressman, trying to get a story: then a narcissist, admiring his figure in the glass. Now I think he is just mad, and know him to be a nuisance. If he goes on into next week I shall open the window some day and wring his silly neck.
My time passes between swearing at him, cutting brushwood, and inventing odd jobs. No letter-writing any more, except under extreme need, and no duty. A queer lapse into uselessness, after that long-drawn series of jobs that made up my life.
Please remember me to Lorna and to Mrs N. I went to Hythe lately and scrounged a lot more screws. There was a dinghy for test, tell her!
On Wednesday I hope to meet B.G. there.
Bother that bird: he taps too regularly, and distracts me.
|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