27 September 2006
THOMAS EDWARD LAWRENCE (1888-1935)
The Diary of T.E. Lawrence MCMXI, edited by A.W. Lawrence. [London]: The Corvinus Press, 1937. 4° (293 x 232mm). Woodcut headpiece after Eric Kennington printed in black on onlaid gold leaf and 13 collotype plates after photographs by Lawrence, retaining tissue guards. (Light offsetting from tissue guard onto p..) Original crushed brown seal-skin backed japanese paper covered boards with parchment corners [by W.H. Smith], spine gilt with title and press devices, top edge gilt, others uncut (spine very lightly rubbed); original slipcase (lacking back panel and a little worn). Provenance: Miss Doris Anne Cutmore (Secretary to the Corvinus Press, 1937-1939, and by descent).
FIRST EDITION, LIMITED TO C. 206 COPIES, THIS NUMBER 92 OF 130 ON HODGKINSON'S PARCHMENT SUBSTITUTE. FROM THE LIBRARY OF THE SECRETARY TO THE CORVINUS PRESS. This volume -- 'the most ambitious and beautiful printed by the Corvinus Press' (O'Brien) -- is based on the diary kept by Lawrence during a walking tour to Horran, Urfa, Biredjik, Tell Basher and Aleppo during a seasonal break in the archaeological excavations in Carchemish; the journey 'was really concerned with his interest in the castles of the area, some of which he had visited in 1909 in connection with his thesis, and with the collection of engraved seal stones' (Nash and Flavell). To the diary are added the poem 'To T.E.L. February 18th 1914' by the author's brother W.G. Lawrence, and 'Three Letters to Mrs. Lawrence written during the author's journey in Syria'. Nash and Flavell describe the volume thus: 'The text is thoughtfully laid-out and crisply printed, the binding subtle and attractive, and it is clear that Carlow knew the importance of what he was printing, both as a private press book and as a record of a period in the life of one of the century's most enigmatic and charismatic figures'. Clements pp.28-30; Nash and Flavell 16; O'Brien A194.
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