LAWRENCE, T.E. Seven Pillars of Wisdom, a triumph. [London: Privately Printed], 1926.
4o (254 x 191 mm). Printed in red and black. 66 plates, including frontispiece portrait of Feisal by Augustus John, many colored or tinted, 4 double-page, by Eric Kennington, William Roberts, Augustus John, William Nicholson, Paul Nash and others, 4 folding colored maps (without linen backing), 58 illustrations in text, one colored, by Roberts, Nash, Kennington, Blair-Hughes-Stanton, Gerturde Hermes and others, initials by Edward Wadsworth. Contemporary black-ruled tan pigskin, spine gilt-lettered, original endpapers by Kennington, side and lower edges mostly uncut, top edge gilt (a few minor scuffs). Provenance: Lord Fairfax of Cameron, original subscriber (armorial bookplate on blank front flyleaf; letter from Lawrence [see below]).
PRIVATELY PRINTED EDITION, limited to about 170 'complete' subscriber's copies, INSCRIBED BY LAWRENCE on p. XIX "Complete copy. 1.XII.26 TES.", with a single additional manuscript correction to the illustration list. The present copy includes the 'Prickly Pear' plate, but not the two Paul Nash illustrations called for on pages 92 and 208, or the Blair-Hughes-Stanton wood engraving that in some copies illustrated the dedicatory poem. In this copy, page XV is mis-paginated as VIII. Clements p. 49 (stating that "only about 100 copies were produced at 30 guineas each"); O'Brien A040.
LAWRENCE, T.E. Autograph letter signed ("TE Lawrence") to Lord Fairfax, Dorset, 31 March 1924. 2½ pages, 8vo, with envelope. Lawrence forwards information regarding publication of Seven Pillars of Wisdom at the request of Robin Buxton: "It's not being published, but privately printed (a technical distinction): and I want if possible to find enough subscribers to cover its cost. Estimates stand at about £3400 so that I want just a hundred takers at 30 guineas each. There are to be no commissions or royalties. Type paper & illustrations will be decent. The complete work will not be re-issued in my lifetime. Those who helped in the revolt will expect copies. Some cannot afford to buy. To them I propose to give copies of the text... The incompleteness of these copies will prevent them from competing in rarity-value with the subscribed edition. I'm bound to say that I think the book exceedingly dear, as issued: and that it's unjustifiable purchase whether as investment for resale, or as a thing for reading, no one should buy it unless he's in a position to lose thirty guineas cheerfully. The printers will take ten-months block-making. They have begun: but can only continue as I have credits to cover their bills. Consequently the work will probably drag over the end of 1924. I'm sending out no review copies, & no library copies, since the intimacy of the book makes me very sorry to multiply it so. It was not written for publication... but the sixty or so drawings for it, which have slowly accumulated upon me, are too much for me to reproduce at my own expense. Consequently I've accepted the notion of this limited edition, reluctantly." Lawrence concludes by detailing how to subscribe, should Lord Fairfax wish to do so.
[With:] Note from T.E. Shaw to His Subscribers. 1 page announcing that Seven Pillars is now ready. O'Brien A038. -- Printed invitation from the Leicester Galleries for the private view of the original illustrations to Seven Pillars, February 1927. -- Four clippings relating to Seven Pillars. (9)