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Book Description

Full title: Correspondence with Henry Williamson. Edited by Peter Wilson. With a Prologue and Epilogue by Anne Williamson and a Foreword by Jeremy Wilson. (T.E. Lawrence, Letters, Volume IX)

T.E. LAWRENCE’S CORRESPONDENCE WITH HENRY WILLIAMSON, ONE OF ‘C. 400’ CLOTH-BOUND COPIES, THIS ADDITIONALLY SIGNED BY JEREMY WILSON

Folio (282 x 173 mm), pp. xvii, [1 (blank)], 219, [1 (blank)], [2 (blank l.)]. Portrait frontispiece of Williamson after Powys Evans. Original brown cloth by The Fine Bindery, spine lettered in gilt, beige endpapers, top edges brown, dustwrapper. A fine copy.
Dealer Notes
First edition, limited to 702 copies, this no. 489 of about 400 bound in cloth and additionally signed by Jeremy Wilson beneath his foreword. ‘T.E. Lawrence was fascinated by the art of creative writing, and by creative writers. This fascination drew him into friendships with poets and novelists such as Robert Graves, Siegfried Sassoon, Thomas Hardy and E.M. Forster. When Lawrence read Henry Williamson’s Tarka the Otter in 1928, he recognised that its author had extraordinary descriptive power: “I put Williamson very high as a writer,” he later wrote. From this beginning grew a correspondence that lasted until Lawrence’s death in 1935’ (prospectus). The correspondence is presented in this edition in a largely complete form, which corrects the impression given by the previously published accounts ‘written by Williamson himself, notably his contribution to T. E. Lawrence by his Friends (1937), and his book Genius of Friendship (1941). As is clear from the letters published here, these accounts reflect a personal view of the relationship which T.E. Lawrence, on his side, almost certainly did not share’ (p. xiii); nonetheless, ‘even though their friendship may have seemed more important to Williamson than it did to Lawrence, it is easy to see why Lawrence kept in contact. Williamson’s letters provide a fascinating insight into a novelist’s mind, and it is not difficult to imagine that Lawrence valued them as greatly as he valued, for example, his letters from Robert Graves’ (prospectus). The epilogue is an account of Williamson’s reactions to Lawrence’s motorcycle accident (Williamson visited Lawrence immediately afterwards, while Lawrence was still alive) and death, drawn from his diary and family letters.

Although the stated limitation for this edition was 702 copies, the Castle Hill Press website notes that ‘only about 500 were produced’ and that only ‘c. 400’ cloth-bound copies were produced (rather than the 600 called for by the limitation statement). This copy is in the ‘library full-cloth’ binding with brown-stained top edges, but also has the dustwrapper issued with subscribers’ full-cloth bindings, which are distinguished by the gilt top edges.

O’Brien sA271.
Author LAWRENCE, Thomas Edward
Date 2000
Publisher Fordingbridge: The Burlington Press for Castle Hill Press

Price: £125.00

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