COWARD, Noël (1899-1973). Autograph letter signed (''Noël Coward'') to T.E. Lawrence (''Dear 338171,'' Lawrence's R.A.F. number), London, 25 August 1930. 1½ pages, 4to, on lined paper.
COWARD, Noël (1899-1973). Autograph letter signed ("Noël Coward") to T.E. Lawrence ("Dear 338171," Lawrence's R.A.F. number), London, 25 August 1930. 1½ pages, 4to, on lined paper.
"A VERY THRILLING WRITER INDEED": COWARD WRITES TO LAWRENCE ABOUT 'THE MINT'
Coward's praise of The Mint is boldly stated: "I am tremendously grateful to you for letting me read your R.A.F. notes. I found them even better that I expected which is honestly saying a good deal. Now I'm faced with the problem of expressing to you my genuine and very deep admiration of your writing without treading on you over tender, hero worship, Lawrence of Arabia coms! Really it has nothing to do with all that. I think you're a very thrilling writer indeed because you make pictures with such superb simplicity and no clichès at all, and I disagree dearly with you when you say you're photographic. Your descriptive powers far exceed photography. Cameras are unable to make people live in the mind as your prose succeeds in doing... Written with heart and blood and bones." Coward writes that he has many other things to say about Lawrence's work, but cannot on paper and suggests meeting. He mentions his own work: "I owe you a great deal for the things you said about my writing. Valuable praise is very rare and beyond words stimulating..."
Lawrence had been introduced to Coward on 12 August 1930 by George Lloyd. He later to wrote to Charlotte Shaw that he found Coward "not deep but remarkable. A hasty kind of genius..." (quoted in Wilson, Lawrence of Arabia, New York, 1990, p.869). He later noted to Charlotte Shaw that Coward was perhaps the only person he'd met that year whom he'd wished to see again. Published in Letters to T.E. Lawrence.