LAWRENCE, T.E. Autograph letter signed ("T.E. Lawrence") to H.R. Hadley, All Souls College, Oxford, 2 September 1920. 4 pages, 8vo, some slight soiling.
"I WISH THERE WAS A PROPER ACCOUNT OF IT FOR PUBLICATION..."
An important letter to a former comrade-in-arms in Arabia, reminiscing about the Arabian campaign and relating a humorous anecdote about his father. Responding to Hadley's request for a photograph, Lawrence begins: "I can't do it today, because I haven't got one in stock....but I'll look for one tomorrow. They were mostly done by that wild American, Lowell Thomas, who came to Akaba and took us all, and he never gave me copies. However, as I looked a perfect idiot in most of those he published, there probably isn't much lost."
Lawrence assures Hadley that "I remember your name, because Marshall [Maj. W.E.] used to talk of you. I can't fit it with a face at present, but then I'm very bad at faces; indeed I always was, and my family also. My father one day stepped on my toe in the street, and apologised & went on without knowing who it was!... I'm glad you found Arabia interesting. It was of course most interesting for me, because I understood all the Arab side of it: I often used to wonder whether you were not having a very dull time of it. I used to be up country on stunts nearly always, and many of you had to live in the dust & heat and flies of Akaba."
Lawrence updates Hadley on some former comrades and enquires whether he or any of the other fellows kept a full diary of the campaign. "You mention a diary....did you keep a full one, or did any of the other fellows? I was too busy, or too lazy to write down what happened properly, and none of the other officers wrote anything much. I wish there was a proper account of it for publication. Marshall is, I think, in Khartoum. He was at Jidda, the port of Mecca, in the Red Sea for some time after the armistice, and then he went to the Sudan. I haven't seen any of the others for some time."
"I wonder if you were of the Mudowwarah party which at last took the place? We had four boss shots at it, and took it the fifth try, when the I[mperial].C[amel].C[orps]. came along and rushed it in the dark. Marshall was there, for the second, fourth & fifth tries. I enclose a couple of prints of that time, copies of some which Colonel Buxton who commanded the camels sent me. I have quite a good set of photos of the war (that is of our little bit of it) which I have collected from various people."
With: HADLEY. ALS to Madame Charles Jullien (J.M.C. Plowden), author of Once in Sinai (London, 1940), confirming the sale of this letter for £20 and discussing Lawrence and the letter's background. Staffordshire, 4 October 1941. 1½ pages, 4to.