Military Report on the Sinai Peninsula
Towards 'An English Fourth'
Seven Pillars of Wisdom, The Complete 1922 Text
'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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Portraits for Seven Pillars of WisdomThe portraits of Arab and English participants in the Arab Revolt, reproduced in colour from a set of the original chromo-litho plates printed for Lawrence's subscribers' edition.
220 numbered copies.
About this volume
T.E. Lawrence commissioned illustrations for Seven Pillars of Wisdom from leading artists of the day. They were reproduced in colour in his lavish 1926 edition of the subscribers' abridgement. The most important of the illustrations were portraits. These showed readers not just faces, but also the exotic clothing worn by the Arab irregulars.
The forty-one Seven Pillars Portraits are reproduced here full-page in the original colours, together with William Roberts' remarkable double-page 'Camel March'.
This volume of Seven Pillars portraits is made up from sheets left over in 1997, when The Fine Bindery bound the volume of illustrations that accompanied the large-format first edition of Seven Pillars of Wisdom, The Complete 1922 Text. The surplus sheets were discovered when The Fine Bindery closed in 2007.
Page dimensions 282 x 200mm. The plates were printed in 1997 by The Burlington Press on art paper. The preliminaries have been printed for this edition, in 2008.
Hardback binding by The Fine Book Bindery in quarter cloth with paper-covered sides.
History of this printing
In 1997 Castle Hill Press published T.E. Lawrence's complete 1922 'Oxford' text of Seven Pillars of Wisdom - seventy-five years after it was written.
The edition was a landmark in T.E. Lawrence scholarship. Many now regard the 1922 text as the better of the two versions of Seven Pillars.
There was, however, another exciting 'first'. Not long after Volume I of the text was distributed we received a call from Maggs Bros, one of London's leading antiquarian booksellers. They had just acquired a set of printed proofs of the colour portraits Lawrence had used in his 1926 subscribers' edition of Seven Pillars. These portraits had been reproduced by the chromo-litho process - the best then available - at unimaginable expense.
The proofs had come from the library of a partner Whittingham & Griggs - the printers who had produced the plates. They were in mint condition, having apparently spent the intervening years safely in a protective envelope. The images were complete, without the titles that were overprinted for Lawrence before the subscribers' edition was bound.
The news was astonishing. The chromo-litho plates were the best imaginable source for reproducing the portraits in colour. That had not been done since 1926, when Lawrence ordered just 200 copies of each plate for his subscribers' Seven Pillars. After that, the original pastel portraits had been dispersed. In 1997 we did not know where they all were. Moreover, pastels often deteriorate over time. By the late-1990s some at least of the originals would have have lost intensity.
The discovery put us in a quandary. We were already committed to a subscription price for the 1922 Text edition - but the opportunity to print the plates in colour was too good to miss. So we decided to do it. One consequence was that we had to substantially increase the price of copies of the edition that had not been sold on advance subscription. The subscribers got a bargain!
High-quality colour printing in short runs is extremely expensive. The volume of illustrations ended up costing far more than either of the text volumes. To obtain new high-quality origination, colour transparencies were made from the plates. These were scanned, and the scans then corrected against the plates.
Emir Feisal by
Augustus John, oils, full colour
Wilson by Eric
Kennington, pastel, full colour
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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.