[THOMAS EDWARD LAWRENCE (1888-1935)]
The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. New York: George H. Doran Company, 1926. 8° (275 x 196mm). Collation: \Kp\k2 [1-41]8. 11 illustrations in the text on pp. 40, 284-285, 301, 339, 411, 443, 476, 482, 521, 554, and 649, initials after Edward Wadsworth and Blair Hughes-Stanton, footnote on p. 257 printed in red. Retaining final blank /8. (Occasional light spotting.) Contemporary half green crushed morocco by The Notary Binders, London, spine lettered in gilt, top edge gilt, others uncut (light rubbing on tail of spine, corners lightly bumped). THIRD [FIRST AMERICAN] EDITION, ONE OF 22 COPIES. Clements pp.49-50; O'Brien A052 (with incorrect collation and locations of illustrations).
[Roy] Manning PIKE (1879-1967). Autograph letter signed ('Manning Pike') to H.W. Bailey ('Dear Sir'), 25 Charles Street, Queensdale Road, London, 18 March 1927, one page, 8°, autograph envelope.
[T.E. LAWRENCE] 'T.E. SHAW'. Some Notes on the Writing of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom. [S.l.: for the author, circa 1927]. 4° bifolium. (248 x 188mm). (A few light marks and creases.) Clements p.48; O'Brien A039 ('about 200 copies'). In an envelope addressed to H.W. Bailey, bearing the printed address of Manning Pike and postmarked 24 May 1927 (envelope torn with losses).
FIRST AMERICAN EDITION, ONE OF 22 COPIES. PRESENTATION COPY, SENT BY LAWRENCE TO BAILEY, ONE OF 'THE FELLOWS WHO HELPED IN THE BUSINESS' (letter to Bailey of 17 August 1925, lot 122). Together with a letter from the printer about the edition and Lawrence's Some Notes. Following the publication of the second, subscribers' edition of Seven Pillars of Wisdom in December 1925 to January 1926, an American edition was published by Doran in April 1926 (under the title The Seven Pillars of Wisdom), to secure U.S. copyright: this edition was reprinted from a proof of the Subscribers' Edition (omitting the plates and some of the illustrations, and with variations of both text and illustration), and was limited to 22 numbered copies, of which 6 copies were for Lawrence, 2 for the Library of Congress, 4 for Doran, and 10 for sale, 'at a price high enough [the first at $20,000 and further copies at double that price] to prevent them ever being sold' (Some Notes p. ). 'In the event Doran found an excellent use for the edition. The $20,000 copies were exhibited, with elaborate security precautions, in leading bookstores across America as part of the promotion for Revolt in the Desert. As Doran later wrote: "the public flocked to purchase the slightly abridged ... book for $3"' (J. Wilson T.E. Lawrence, exh. cat., London: 1988, no. 247).
Curiously, not all copies were numbered and signed by Doran on the colophon: Clements records an unnumbered Library of Congress copy and this copy is neither numbered nor signed, and Bailey seems to have quizzed Pike, the printer of the Subscribers' Edition, on this point, the latter replying with more confidence than accuracy that, 'None of the copies of the American or English editions of "Seven Pillars" are numbered'. In addition to the 22 copies agreed contractually, Doran appears to have assembled two (or possibly three) additional copies from specimen sheets, probably without Lawrence's knowledge (one of which is held by the Houghton Library, Harvard; another was sent to Jonathan Cape, who used it for typesetting the first English trade edition of Seven Pillars in 1935).
Lawrence had printed additional copies of the 'Subscribers' Edition' of Seven Pillars without the plates, to present gratis to those who had fought with him in the desert (the omission of the plates was intended to prevent these copies devaluing those which had been subscribed for). However, the number of 'incomplete' copies was insufficient to meet his obligations, so copies of the American edition were used to satisfy the demand, as Lawrence stated in a letter to Dr G.C. Ramsay (who had served in the R.A.M.C. in Mesopotamia, the Hejaz and Syria, becoming Medical Officer to King Feisal): 'I was too rash in promising copies to people who did the show with me, and there weren't nearly enough to go round. Hence many bad words, in three continents, flung at my absent head' (sale, Sotheby's London, 8 December 1983, lot 236; Ramsay's copy was inscribed by Lawrence, 'G.C.R. Who was one of us, then from T.E.S.', ibid, lot 235). THIS EDITION OF SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM IS THE RAREST AFTER THE 'OXFORD' EDITION, AND THIS COPY IS FURTHER DISTINGUISHED BY ITS PRESENTATION FROM LAWRENCE TO ONE OF HIS WARTIME COMRADES OF THE HEJAZ ARMOURED CAR COMPANY. (3)