GROSVENOR, Charles M. The Portraits of T.E. Lawrence. Hillsdale, NJ: The Otterden Press, 1975.  

Quarto (279 x 214mm), pp. [2 (blank l.)], [6 (half-title, frontispiece on verso, title, imprint on verso, dedication, verso blank)], 82, [2 (limitation statement, verso blank)]. Title with publisher’s device and printed in red and black. Half-tone frontispiece, 19 full-page half-tone illustrations, and one full-page line illustration in the text after Colin Gill, Augustus John, Eric Kennington, James McBey, William Orpen, Kathleen Scott, Henry Scott Tuke, and Francis Derwent Wood. Extra-illustrated with 2 colour-printed postcards and 12 photocopies of works listed in the catalogue, all between two loosely inserted guards of plain paper, some illustrations tipped or taped onto guards. Loosely inserted photocopied prospectus for the work. (A few light spots.) Original brown wrappers, upper wrapper lettered in red and black and with mounted colour-printed portrait frontispiece after John, lower wrapper with publisher’s device. (Cracking on bookblock, slightly marked and rubbed at edges.) A very good copy of a scarce work. ProvenanceJeremy Michael Wilson (1944-2017, vide infra). 

First edition, no. 88 of 200 copies signed by the author. The first publication of an important iconography of Lawrence: ‘[n]o other contemporary was portrayed – on canvas or on paper, in bronze or in stone – as often as Lawrence. He sat for almost all of the best British portraitists at one time or another: John, Kennington, Orpen, Rothenstein. He sat for artists who were not so well renowned: Gill, McBey, Scott. And the resulting collection of portraits is considerable’ (‘Introduction’). The Portraits of T.E. Lawrence is divided into three sections, the first two of which are dedicated to the portraits by Augustus John and Eric Kennington respectively. The third section gathers ‘The Others’, comprising Sir Frank Brangwyn, Frederick Carter, Colin Gill, Herbert Gurschner, Percy Wyndham Lewis, James McBey, Sir William Orpen, William Roberts, Sir William Rothenstein, Kathleen Scott, Henry Scott Tuke, Francis Derwent Wood, and Sir Charles Wheeler. Grosvenor revised his work for a second edition, which was published under the title An Iconography: The Portraits of T.E. Lawrence in 1988, in an edition of 1,000 copies.  

Although not marked as such, this copy was previously in the collection of the distinguished Lawrence scholar Jeremy Wilson, the editor of T.E. Lawrence’s Minorities (London, 1971), the author of the National Portrait Gallery catalogue T.E. Lawrence: Lawrence of Arabia (London, 1988) and the authoritative biography Lawrence of Arabia: The Authorised Biography of T.E. Lawrence (London, 1989), and the co-founder, with his wife Nicole, of the Castle Hill Press, which has published scholarly editions of works by Lawrence and the definitive series of Lawrence’s letters. 

This copy has been extra-illustrated (presumably by Wilson) with two colour postcards of portraits reproduced in half-tone, and twelve photocopies of works which are listed in the catalogue, but not illustrated. Seven of these photocopies are of illustrations in Wilson’s catalogue T.E. Lawrence: Lawrence of Arabia, which was issued in 1988, shortly after An Iconography: The Portraits of T.E. Lawrence was published. Wilson – whom Grosvenor thanked in An Iconography: The Portraits of T.E. Lawrence ‘for his thorough criticism of this volume’s predecessor [i.e. the present work]’ (p. 143) – owned a copy of the revised edition of Grosvenor’s work, which he cited throughout T.E. Lawrence: Lawrence of Arabia.Although An Iconography: The Portraits of T.E. Lawrence is not a rare book, due to its relatively large print run, The Portraits of T.E. Lawrence is much scarcer on the market because of its smaller edition.

O’Brien E351.


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