The viaLibri website requires cookies to work properly. You can find more information in our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Recently found by viaLibri....

Autograph, signed letter of 2 March 1933 from T E Lawrence to his friend and fellow writer Henry Williamson
Mount Batten R.A.F. Station, 1933. Autograph letter, signed. This is an original, autograph signed letter dated 2 March 1933 from T. E. Lawrence to his friend and fellow writer Henry Williamson. The 125-word letter entirely in Lawrence's hand is fascinating in multiple respects, penned at Mount Batten R.A.F. station, providing insight into Lawrence's friendship with Williams, as well as his friendship with author Robert Graves, and rather poignantly referencing the impending end of Lawrence's R.A.F. career. The letter also eerily presages correspondence regarding meeting with Williamson that would indirectly cause Lawrence's death a little more than two years later. Condition is excellent, crisp and clean with two creases – one vertical and one horizontal – ostensibly from original posting. The letter is headed: “Mount Batten | II.iii.33”. R.A.F. station Mountbatten, a peninsula in Plymouth Sound, Devon, was “one of the most enjoyable of Lawrence's postings.” (Wilson, Lawrence, p.850) Lawrence writes: “Dear H. W. | Your letters made me laugh, and then | think hard. You are really two entirely different people,| and if only they could come together what a book we | should have!” “H. W.” is the English writer Henry William Williamson (1895-1977). Lawrence's comment is fascinating; Williamson was “a skillful and supremely observant writer, but nevertheless a man who was introspective, egocentric, insecure, and intensely lonely” – words which could easily be used to characterize Lawrence himself. (Wilson, T.E. Lawrence Correspondence with Henry Williamson, p.xii) They became friends in 1928 when Lawrence read and was impressed by Williamson's Tarka the Otter. From this beginning grew a significant correspondence that lasted until Lawrence's death. “I didn't answer because you said you were | coming, and now I am sorry you may not. I am | away from Thursday to Monday of next week – this week | it will be before the letter reaches you – but constantly in | the station for the rest.” Two years later, similar correspondence with Williamson would inadvertently precipitate Lawrence's death. Lawrence was returning from sending a telegram in response to a letter from Williamson about a forthcoming visit when he suffered the motorcycle accident that took his life. “My R.A.F. life is very near its end: not to let | it gutter away I am leaving voluntarily next month. | For what? Heaven knows.” Lawrence actually submitted his formal request for discharge just four days later, on 6 March 1933. The request was granted, though Lawrence withdrew his discharge application on 19 April when offered a posting that enabled him to work again on R.A.F. boats. “Graves has been very good. Then family jars and | two women overset him. He will recover, I think.” “Graves” is Robert von Ranke Graves (1895-1985), the English poet and novelist. The reference to Graves indicates Lawrence's own complicated and uncomfortable relationship with sexuality. Lawrence disliked Graves's companion, Laura Riding, owing to his feeling “that both of them had allowed their lives to be dominated by carnality.” (Wilson, Lawrence, p.870) The other of the "two women" is likely Nancy Nicholson, Graves's wife; the three had untenably cohabitated. The valediction “Yours | TES” testifies to Lawrence's close relationship with George Bernard (1856-1950) and Charlotte Payne-Townsend Shaw (1857-1943). The Shaws played an integral role in Lawrence's literary and personal life. As testimony to the complex importance of the Shaws to Lawrence, by early 1923 Lawrence had enlisted in the Army under the name "Thomas Edward Shaw." Lawrence would use, and publish under, his assumed surname until his death. “A cut hand: so I can't write properly.” It is difficult to take the postscript only literally and not regard the metaphor for a man who was as brilliant, gifted, and accomplished as he was damaged, confined by his own demons, and ultimately cut short in both life and letters.
      [Bookseller: Churchill Book Collector]
Last Found On: 2017-06-22           Check availability:      Biblio    


Browse more rare books from the year 1933

      Home     Wants Manager     Library Search     562 Years   Links     Contact      Search Help      Terms of Service      Privacy     

Copyright © 2018 viaLibri™ Limited. All rights reserved.