London, South Kensington
6 April 2001
HOMER. The Odyssey, translated by T.E. Lawrence, London: Sir Emery Walker, Wilfred Merton and Bruce Rogers, 1932. 2°, 26 woodcut roundels printed in gold and black as the title vignette and headpieces to each of the 24 books, book XXII with an additional roundel headpiece (occasional very light offsetting from the roundels), original black crushed niger morocco by W.H. Smith and Son Ltd, the spine titled and dated in gilt (a few light scuff marks), t.e.g., others uncut, original slipcase (a little worn on joints). Provenance: sale, Sotheby's London, 13 December 1990, lot 244. FIRST EDITION OF LAWRENCE'S TRANSLATION. LIMITED TO 530 COPIES. Clements pp.41-42; O'Brien A141.
'Inspired by reading Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Bruce Rogers persuaded Lawrence to undertake a new translation of The Odyssey. Begun in 1928 and finished in 1932, the translation was undertaken during Lawrence's free time while he was serving in the ranks [...] a beautiful edition' (O'Brien). Lawrence's Letters ... to Bruce Rogers and More Letters ... to Bruce Rogers provide an intriguing insight into the developement of Lawrence's translation, his concerns about the correct idiom for the translation, and the practical understanding that his own travels and experiences could bring to the adventures narrated by Homer (see following lot).
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