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Book Description

T.E. LAWRENCE’S CORRESPONDENCE WITH E.M. FORSTER AND F.L. LUCAS: ‘ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT VOLUMES IN THE T.E. LAWRENCE LETTERS SERIES’

Folio (282 x 173 mm), pp. xvi, 312. Mounted colour-printed portrait frontispiece of Forster after Dora Carrington. Original ‘Quarter Cloth Fine Binding’ of cream Rohalbleinen canvas backed boards covered with Fabriano Tiziano sides, gilt morocco lettering-piece on spine, top edges purple, light-brown endpapers. A fine copy.
Dealer Notes
First edition, limited to 377 numbered copies, this number 258 of 225 copies bound in cloth. Although Forster had met Lawrence fleetingly in 1921, the friendship between them commenced when Siegfried Sassoon (a friend of both) suggested that Forster would be a useful and constructive critic of Seven Pillars of Wisdom in late 1923, while Lawrence was revising and editing the work. Lawrence concurred and Sassoon lent his copy to Forster, who wrote a long and full letter about it to Lawrence in February 1924, while he was attempting to finish A Passage to India. The concentration on another author’s work seemed to assist Forster’s writing; he noted at the end of one letter that ‘your book helped me to finish a book of my own. Seemed to pull me together’ (p. 9). Writing continued to be the central axis of their relationship, as Forster recalled in T.E. Lawrence by his Friends: ‘T.E. liked to meet people upon a platform of his own designing. In my own case it was the platform of aesthetic creation, where I had to figure as a great artist and he was a bungling amateur. This did not suit me in the least, but protests were useless, and after all the important thing was to meet’ (p. 282). Apart from the correspondence between Lawrence and Forster, this volume collects Lawrence’s presentation inscription in Forster’s copy of the ‘Subscribers’ Edition’ of Seven Pillars of Wisdom and Forster’s review of the Cape 1935 edition; Forster’s contribution to T.E. Lawrence by his Friends; texts relating to the Letters of T.E. Lawrence (which Forster had agreed to edit, although he later relinquished the task, which was eventually undertaken by D.G. Garnett); and Forster’s pieces on Clouds Hill and The Mint for The Listener.

The second part of the volume is dedicated to Lawrence’s correspondence with the author and classicist F.L. Lucas (1894-1967), who was (like Forster) a fellow of King’s College, Cambridge; had been a member of the Apostles; and had served with distinction during World War I, first on the Western Front and then in the Intelligence Corps (during World War II Lucas would work at Bletchley Park on the Ultra Project and prepare intelligence reports based upon Enigma decodes). Lawrence thought Lucas an excellent poet and pressed Forster to effect an introduction, which the novelist duly did in December 1925. Shortly afterwards Lawrence agreed that Lucas could read the 1922 ‘Oxford’ edition of Seven Pillars of Wisdom, and in turn Lucas would dedicate his 1930 novel Cécile ‘To the author of “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom”’ (p. 287). The Castle Hill Press prospectus considered Correspondence with E.M. Forster and F.L. Lucas ‘one of the most important volumes in the T.E. Lawrence Letters series. It includes a number of previously unpublished letters, in addition to detailed editorial notes and a scholarly index’.

This copy is in the ‘Quarter Cloth Fine Binding’ of cream canvas backed maroon boards with stained top edges.
Author LAWRENCE, Thomas Edward
Date 2010
Publisher [Fordingbridge]: Castle Hill Press

Price: £250.00

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