Friday 20 December 2019

A T. E. Lawrence Limited Edition (125 Copies Only): Featuring A Previously Uncollected Letter


Three letters, all written on the same day...

strictly limited edition, featuring a previously uncollected letter by Lawrence of Arabia

"I do not write... I sweat and sweat, and it's a botch"
— T.E. Lawrence, from the uncollected letter in this edition

30th OCTOBER, 1931

By T. E. Lawrence

Three letters by T.E. Lawrence, all written on the same day: 30th October, 1931. Including a letter published for the first time with the permission of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom Trust.

With an original, hand-printed linocut frontispiece

A strictly limited, never-to-be-reprinted edition of 125 hand-numbered copies for sale

Our previous Lawrence-related limited edition, The Kaer of Ibu Wardani (see details here), was described by the T. E. Lawrence Society as "a very beautiful publication", and sold out quickly. The Society has also recently reviewed this publication in their Newsletter:
"I commend this finely produced little book to all our members, as a valuable piece of ephemera for your Lawrence collection." 

Nobody knows exactly how many letters T. E. Lawrence wrote in his lifetime. The total number, from childhood missives to his mother, right up to scribbled notes to friends in his final weeks, is undoubtedly comfortably into four figures.

We now know that he wrote three letters dated 30th October, 1931. Two of them, to his Mother and to the typographer Bruce Rogers, have been previously published (albeit in expensive, now hard-to-find books); the other, a fascinating and revealing letter to a fellow member of the RAF, has been uncollected until now. All three are presented here, giving a snapshot into one particular Friday in the 43-year-old Lawrence’s life, including — in the uncollected letter — a story involving Thomas Hardy and Siegfried Sassoon, and an unexpected connection to Spike Milligan and John Lennon...

Each copy of the edition features an original, individually hand-printed linocut by Sharon Newell, inspired by Lawrence's adventures in his beloved speedboat, the Biscuit.

A5 format, printed on uncoated 160gsm paper, 16pp plus a cover (in RAF blue) printed on heavy Rives Shetland paper.

The interior is set in Centaur, the font created by Bruce Rogers.

Featuring, as well as the full text of the three letters, a detailed Afterword by Adam Newell, giving the background to the letters and their recipients, with supporting illustrations.

More photos below:

The Fontispiece for each copy is individually hand-printed, so please note that ink coverage etc may vary!

The original linocut from which this edition's Frontispiece was printed.

Once again I have Sharon Newell and Martin Stiff to thank, for their hard work on making this limited edition a reality. Thanks also the The Seven Pillars of Wisdom Trust, for their kind cooperation.