T E Lawrence (1888-1935) on his motorbike

Lawrence of Arabia refuses to review books…

Letter (unpublished?)  from an irritated T.E. Lawrence (as T.E. Shaw) to Cyril Laken of The Sunday Times (2/ 7/ 1933) stating that he does not want to review books. The concluding part is quoted in a loosely inserted  addendum to Donald Weeks *pamphlet on Lawrence, Wilfred Ewart, John Gawsworth etc.,

"In my life I have reviewed (I think) three books - years ago - and while I am in the R.A.F. I do not need the money and have not the leisure to do more. Inclination I never had, for reviewing.

Please leave me alone! This beastly thing has now cost three postages. T.E.S."

* Donald Weeks. T. E. Lawrence. An Hitherto Unknown Biographical / Bibliographical note. Privately Printed (Tragara Press, Edinburgh 1983)

8vo. pp 16. Frontis portrait. Green textured wraps (with  title label on cover) attached to plain white paper covers. 230 copies printed. Loosely inserted is a one page 'additional note' about Lawrence's dislike of reviewing books. A closely written piece about Lawrence's proof reading work on Wilfrid Ewart's Scot's Guard, with much mention of the young John Gawsworth and his friendship with Lawrence with whom he went on walks in Holborn. Gawsworth had written Annotations on Some Minor Writings of T.E. Lawrence. The book is dedicated to John Gawsworth and the writer and book dealer Iain Sinclair who 'scouted' the proof copy that occasioned this fascinating sidelight on Lawrence.

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