26 February 2004
WAVELL, Archibald Percival (1883-1950). Four Autograph letter signed to T. E. Lawrence, 8 January 1928 to 6 March 1934. Together 10 pages, 8vos, paper clip burn on 8 January 1928 letter, otherwise fine.
"DO YOU TRAVEL INDIA AT 80 M.P.H. ON THAT MOTOR-BICYCLE OF YOURS?"
In the first letter (8 January 1928) Wavell asks about Lawrence's motorcycling: "Do you travel India at 80 m.p.h. on that motor-bicycle of yours?" and then raves about Lawrence's book. "I can't tell you how much pleasure your magnificent gift of the Seven Pillars affords me. It is a constant joy to be able to read your beautiful prose. I am your most grateful admirer." Wavell reciprocated by sending a copy of his own book, and on 30 April 1928 he tells Lawrence it was "very kind of you to like my book at first glance. I hope it didn't disappoint you too much when you read it." Turning to military matters, Wavell is pleased that "the Army is at last getting down to really good liaison with the RAF, a difficult problem but I think one in which we really are beginning to improve."
After World War I, Wavell worked in the War Office and the staff of the Army. The general public came to associate him with a phrase he used in a lecture: that his ideal infantryman was a cross between a poacher, a gunman, and a cat-burglar. In July 1937 he was appointed to command in Palestine and Trans-Jordan. Soon after his arrival Arab troubles, which had died down since the outbreak of 1936, broke out with fresh ferocity, and were at their height when he was brought home in April 1938 to take over the Southern Command, one of the two most important commands in the country. He had been there little more than a year when he was sent, at the end of July 1939, to form the new command of the Middle East. (4)
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
From Connecticut to Kent in southeast England, homes with links to such classic works as Desire under the Elms, Lord of the Flies and The Deep Blue Sea
The Belgian collector, antiques dealer and designer outlines what the art and objects in his library mean to him