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Military Report on the Sinai Peninsula
Towards 'An English Fourth'
Seven Pillars of Wisdom, The Complete 1922 Text
Paperback edition
'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
Correspondence with Edward and David Garnett
Correspondence with Henry Williamson
Translating the Bruce Rogers 'Odyssey'
Correspondence with the Political Elite 1922-1935


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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
First editions

  • 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)

Lawrence-Shaw 1 2 3 4



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.

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 plan to publish in paperback a selection from the correspondence.

 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.

TPS 282x176 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

Standard bindings

Note: volumes in this set are not available seperately

lawrence-shaw letters


Advance subscribers' binding binding: 225 sets 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)





Lawrence-Shaw 1 2 3 4

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

letters 1

lawrence-shaw 1922-6

 Vol. II, 1927

letters 2

letters 2

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.

  • Vols I-II each contain 16 pages of facsimiles not in the standard edition
  • Vols III-IV each contain 16 pages of photographs not in the standard edition

Quarter-goatskin binding

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.





Full-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.  





Correspondence with Bernard and Charlotte Shaw

lawrence-shaw 1922-6



Related pages

List of letters

Forewords by Jeremy Wilson:

Vol. I: 1922-1926
Vol. II: 1927 and Vol. III: 1928
Vol. IV: 1929-1935

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