25 September 2008
THOMAS EDWARD LAWRENCE (1888-1935)
Autograph letter signed ('T.E.L.') to 'Willmore', 7 Dover Street, [London], 30 October 1919, 2½ pages, 4to, bifolium (some light soiling along folds); with a photograph of Willmore. Provenance: Sotheby's sale, 18 December 1986, lot 159; the Spiro Family Collection.
'I PREFER TEL. PLAIN ... NO ARMY TITLES: NO DECORATIONS'. Lawrence replies 'Seriatim' to a series of questions from an Aqaba acquaintance: '(i) Address any way you please: I prefer TEL. plain: some nice people put Esq. which is kind. No army titles: no decorations. Sancta simplicitas. (ii) I haven't seen Feisal since May last. Sancta simplicitas again. (iii) Yes I remember a transaction of some sort between us at Akaba. I hope I didn't do you in: it is generally that way, but without intention ... No remedy therefore, if your conscience accuses you of something, except sleep', ending with approval of Willmore's project to establish himself as a tropical disease specialist in London ('most of the service clubs are full of them (the diseases)') and brief news of old colleagues, mostly 'strewn over three continents. Quelle vie!'.
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