‘REMARKABLE DOCUMENTS SHOWING LAWRENCE’S INTIMATE WORK WITH TWO OF HIS BIOGRAPHERS’
FROM THE LIBRARY OF JEREMY WILSON AND WITH HIS ANNOTATIONS
LAWRENCE, Thomas Edward. T.E. Lawrence to his Biographers Robert Graves and Liddell Hart. London: Lowe & Brydone (Printers) Ltd. for Cassell & Company Ltd, 1963.
2 volumes in one, octavo in 16s (215 x 137mm), pp. [i]-[iv] (half-title, verso blank, title with publisher’s device, imprint and copyright statements on verso), [v]-ix (part-title to vol. I, ‘Publisher’s Note’, ‘Foreword’, ‘Contents’), [1 (blank)], -187 (‘T.E. Lawrence to his Biographer Robert Graves. Information about himself, in the Form of Letters, Notes and Answers to Questions, Edited with a Critical Commentary’), [1 (blank)], [i]-iv (part-title to vol. II, ‘Publisher’s Note’, ‘Foreword’), -233 (‘T.E. Lawrence to his Biographer Liddell Hart. Information about himself, in the Form of Letters, Notes, Answers to Questions and Conversations’), [1 (blank)], 235-260 (index to both vols), [2 (blank l.)]. Portrait frontispiece. Loosely inserted is a second copy of the frontispiece, apparently from another copy. (Occasional light spots or marks, light offsetting onto frontispiece.) Original khaki cloth, spine lettered in gilt, dustwrapper, not price-clipped. (Extremities lightly rubbed, upper and lower edges of boards slightly faded, dustwrapper lightly marked and with light offsetting onto flaps, a little rubbed and chipped at edges.) A very good copy. Provenance: [?]‘378606 MAR 63’ (indistinct small inkstamp on front free endpaper) – Jeremy Michael Wilson (1944-2017, bookplate on upper pastedown and occasional annotations, vide infra).
Second (and first one-volume) British edition. The two volumes titled T.E. Lawrence to his Biographer, Robert Graves and T.E. Lawrence to his Biographer, Liddell Hart were first published in 1938 as a set limited to 500 numbered sets for Britain and 500 numbered sets for the United States, and they were followed by this second British edition, which was published in one volume on 7 March 1963 in an edition of 2,062 copies. O’Brien comments that ‘[t]hese volumes […] are remarkable documents showing Lawrence’s intimate work with two of his biographers. The letters, manuscript commentary and corrections, reveal the nature of information Lawrence supplied and the interpretation he allowed the authors to derive from it. These volumes expose a process of biographical writing that is rarely documented’ (p. 147). Apart from combining the two volumes into one for the first time, this edition was the first to add the comprehensive, 25-page index to both volumes, and it was reprinted by Cassell in May 1963 and by the Greenwood Press of Westport, CT in 1976.
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 edition of Lawrence’s letters. Wilson – who included this edition in his list of ‘T.E. Lawrence’s Published Writings’ in Lawrence of Arabia: The Authorised Biography of T.E. Lawrence (p. 974) – has annotated this volume in pencil on three pages: on p. [iv], where he has circled the misprint ‘Johnathan’ in the name of the publisher ‘Jonathan Cape’; on vol. I, p. 52, where he has corrected the misprint ‘conflicted’ to ‘complicated’ in the text of a letter from Lawrence to Graves dated 9 July 1927; and on vol. I, p. 56, where he has corrected the misprint ‘précis’ to ‘pièces’ later in the text of the same letter.
O’Brien A213; Higginson and Williams A49c.
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