Plate 1: Allenby

The Seven Pillars Portraits

From the Castle Hill Press Seven Pillars, 1997

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1 Allenby, pastel by Eric Kennington.

'Allenby was physically large and confident, and morally so great that the comprehension of our littleness was not easy to him. He sat in his chair looking at me Ė not straight, as his custom, but sideways, puzzled.'

Edward Garnett bought this portrait for Lawrence in return for the gift of a subscribers' Seven Pillars. Lawrence was deeply touched: 'Your gift of the Allenby pastel is an irresistible thing: but rather overwhelming . . . Iím most grateful, for as a portrait of Allenby the drawing is unusually rich, and Allenby is an admiration of mine.

'You know I already possess Johnís picture of Feisal . . . so thanks to your goodness in reserving me the Allenby I shall have my dual mastership preserved in my cottage for all my time. It will be a queer, rich feeling. In the flesh that double allegiance was difficult: but the two quiet heads on the wall will let me do what I please.'

After Lawrence's death the original portrait was presented to the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Eric Kennington, pastel.

Illustration from Seven Pillars of Wisdom, the Complete 1922 Text.

Copyright © The Seven Pillars of Wisdom Trust.

Not to be copied without written permission.