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LAWRENCE Arnold - Autograph Letter Signed 1938 from TE Lawrence's younger brother

  • £850.00

Arnold Walter LAWRENCE (1900-1991)

Autograph Letter Signed (“Arnold W. Lawrence”) to “Dear Mrs. Doubleday” [probably Ellen, wife of the publisher Nelson Doubleday], thanking her for a book and wryly alluding to the problems which might arise in the Middle East for those with the name Lawrence.

2 pages large 8vo, 11 Woburn Square, 29 January 1938.                 

I did not go to Cambridge till the other day, when term began again [A.W. Lawrence was a lecturer on classsical archaeology] & then I found your book. Last night, my first free evening, I read it straight through with great interest & enjoyment . . . I have been trying to organise an excavation in Persia & have at last got it fixed up at this end but we’re yet to see what the Persian Government will say. The Foreign Office tells me that people with even the Christian name of “Lawrence” used to be arrested at the frontier, & once a German journalist who looked rather like T.E. was kept in prison for a fortnight, so the outlook is not too good. It seems an extreme measure to change my name at short notice & if the change came to the knowledge of the Persians I’d probably stay there for life. However if all goes well I hope to do a prospecting trip this summer . . .”

A.W. Lawrence, a leading authority on classical sculpture and architecture, had been very close to T.E., but came to find his brother’s enduring fame something of a burden. He performed his duties as literary executor faithfully and well, but his natual shyness was increased by his embarrassment at being regarded as someone else’s brother, rather than as a scholar of distinction in his own right.


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