Military Report on the Sinai Peninsula
Towards 'An English Fourth'
Seven Pillars of Wisdom, The Complete 1922 Text
Paperback edition in preparation
'The Mint' and Later Writings About Service Life
Boats for the R.A.F. 1929-1935
reports and correspondence
The Forest Giant
Correspondence with Bernard and Charlotte Shaw
Correspondence with E. M. Forster and F.L. Lucas
More Correspondence with Writers (forthcoming)
Correspondence with Henry Williamson
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T. E. Lawrence, Correspondence with Bernard and Charlotte Shaw
Edited by Jeremy and Nicole Wilson
Fine-press edition printed for subscribers
T. E. Lawrence Letters, Volumes I-IV
- Volume I: 1922-1926 (published in 2000)
- Volume II: 1927 (published in 2003)
- Volume III: 1928 (published in 2008)
- Volume IV: 1929-1935 (published in 2009)
ABOUT THIS CORRESPONDENCE
It was not until his wife's death in 1943 that Bernard Shaw began to understand the extraordinary nature of her correspondence with T.E. Lawrence. She had preserved almost all the letters she had received – over 300, some very long – and had recovered several of those that she herself had written to Lawrence. In her engagement diary, she had used symbols to note the dates that she wrote to Lawrence or received letters from him. When Bernard Shaw read her letters he said: 'It takes a long time for two people to get to know each other, and from a diary I discovered lately, and some letters which she wrote to T. E. Lawrence, I realise that there were many parts of her character that even I did not know, for she poured out her soul to Lawrence.'
On Lawrence's side too, this was a remarkable friendship. Taken as a whole, the correspondence adds up to almost twice the total length of his letters to any other recipient. On their own, setting aside the other volumes in our T.E. Lawrence Letters series, the four volumes of correspondence with the Shaws are the largest edition of Lawrence's letters since David Garnett's 900-page Letters of T. E. Lawrence.
When David Garnett prepared his collected edition, Bernard Shaw gave him free use of the letters he had received from Lawrence, but Charlotte refused to co-operate. The result, as we now know, was a glaring omission from the 1938 Letters, repaired to some extent in the selection edited more recently by Malcolm Brown. No general collection, however, could use more than a small fraction of the Lawrence-Shaw correspondence.
Lawrence first met the Shaws in March 1922. Five months later he wrote diffidently to ask whether Bernard Shaw would be willing to criticise the 1922 text of Seven Pillars. Shaw agreed and Lawrence sent a copy. However, the first to read it, and with great enthusiasm, was Charlotte.
She was a wealthy woman in her own right, and her interest in Lawrence and his work soon led to a thriving correspondence. She offered to proof-read the subscription edition of Seven Pillars that he was preparing, and began to send parcels of books, gramophone records and other gifts. Over the years, Lawrence gave her presents in return, including several valuable manuscripts of his writings.
Lawrence's correspondence with the Shaws between 1922 and 1935 is the most significant series of his post-war letters to survive. It covers an extraordinary variety of topics and, for much of the time, the letters were so frequent that they provide something akin to a diary of his activities.
The letters to Charlotte published here are accompanied by the few but important letters from her to Lawrence that he kept, and also by his correspondence with Bernard Shaw, and other collateral material.
While editing the correspondence, Jeremy and Nicole Wilson had the advantage of reference to the chronological research files assembled during work on the authorised biography. These helped to provide material for full and informative notes.
The first of the Lawrence–Shaw volumes starts when Lawrence met the Shaws in 1922 and ends in December 1926. One of its principal themes is the revision and production of the subscribers' Seven Pillars. The second volume covers the first of Lawrence's two years in India, during which he sent long letters to Charlotte almost weekly, providing the fullest account that we have of this period that was a turning-point in his life. The third volume covers the second year in India, providing insights into the writing of The Mint, the beginning of work translating Homer's Odyssey, and the months he spent at a remote RAF station at Miranshah. The letters from 1929-25 make up the fourth volume, covering Lawrence's most productive years in the RAF.
We do not foresee a trade edition of the complete Lawrence-Shaw correspondence, but in accordance with our agreement with the charity that owns his copyrights we will publish a selection from the correspondence in a cheaper form.
List of contents
The Lawrence-Shaw letters edition is limited to 475 four-volume sets, numbered in Volume IV. Note: The limitation was originally to have been 702 sets, but Vol. IV is limited to 475 copies.
Tall octavo, trimmed page-size 282 x 176 mm. Typeset in Garamond by Castle Hill Press. Printed on high-quality 100 g.s.m. paper.
- Vol. I: 1922-1926: xx + 228 [=248] pages, frontis. port., index by Hazel K. Bell
- Vol. II: 1927: xviii +238 [=256] pages, frontis. photo. + another p.93, index by Hazel K. Bell
- Vol. III: 1928: xiv+250 [=264] pages, frontis. photo. + another p.211 and 2 photographs on a fold-out leaf between pp. 146 and 147, index by Hazel K. Bell
- Vol. IV: 1929-1935: xxii+282 [=304] pages pages. frontis. photo + 2 more, p. xxii, index by Hazel K. Bell
- Advance subscribers' binding/library
bound in green cloth; top edge gilt, green end-papers, head and
tail bands, dust jackets. Vols II and III in these sets ordered before
publication included an additional subscribers' leaf. Subscribers were
offered an optional cloth-covered slip-case for the four volumes.
ISBN: 978-1-873141-52-6 (set)
- Series binding: 150 sets bound in quarter canvas with leather spine labels,
green paper sides. Top edge stained, beige end-papers, head and tail bands.
ISBN: 978-1-873141-05-2 (set)
Vol. I, 1922-1926
Vol. II, 1927
Additional content in the special issues
Each volume in the special issues contains an additional sixteen pages of facsimiles or illustrations not in the standard edition.
- Vol. I contains 16 pages of facsimiles not in the standard edition
- Vol. II: contains 16 pages of facsimiles not in the standard edition
- Vol. III contains 16 pages of photographs not in the standard edition
- Vol. IV contains 16 pages of photographs not in the standard edition
ISBN: 9781873141533 (set)
45 sets, numbered 56-100, bound in quarter brown goatskin with brown cloth sides; top edge gilt, hand-marbled end-papers. Issued in a cloth-covered slip-case.
This is a series binding: Volumes I-IX in the T.E. Lawrence Letters series will be offered bound in a similar quarter-goatskin binding.
ISBN 9781873141540 (set)
40 sets (to be numbered 16-55) bound in full green goatskin. The blind-stamped decoration on the front cover, with clover-leaves and interlinked 'S's is adapted from the 1927 design by C & C McLeish for the Shaws' copy of the subscribers' Seven Pillars. All edges gilt, hand-marbled end-papers, head and tail bands. In lined cloth-covered slip-case.
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Some opinions of our work:
Considering the tastefulness of the physical design of the Castle Hill volumes - which undoubtedly would have pleased Lawrence, who was a devotee of William Morris's idea of 'the book beautiful' - and the spare tastefulness of their editing, and especially their making available important but otherwise hard-to-access texts, this is a project for which Lawrence scholars will indeed be grateful now and in years to come. [Professor Stephen E. Tabachnick, reviewing Castle Hill Press books in English Literature in Transition]
. . . I couldn't be more pleased. The attention to detail, and conception of this edition, are wonderful . . .
I cannot praise too highly the quality of the production, with exceptional clarity and beauty of print, the erudition of editing, and the excellent on-line service. Important correspondence in beautiful books - the perfect combination.
. . .Excellence in research and editing, and magnificently produced books in superb bindings. Last but not least, efficient and friendly service, with books posted in rock solid packaging.
. . . These books are a pleasure to own and read . . .. . . a quite invaluable job in publishing (very beautifully . . .) many of the writings of TEL which hitherto have been available only in manuscript form in museums, libraries or private collections, or in out-of-print books which are very hard to obtain.
An excellent set of publications that are beautifully edited and produced. A wonderful addition to my library and to any library.