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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 Edward and David Garnett

Castle Hill Press, 2016
Edited by Jeremy and Nicole Wilson
Introduction by Jeremy Wilson

Fine-press edition of 377 numbered copies printed for subscribers.
T. E. Lawrence Letters series, Volume VII

On 24th August 1906, learning that he had achieved top place in English in the Oxford Senior Local examinations, Lawrence wrote 'I wonder whether there is any profession in which a knowledge of one's own tongue is of the slightest use.'

On 23 December 1927 Lawrence wrote to Edward Garnett: 'in the distant future, if the distant future deigns to consider my insignificance, I shall be appraised rather as a man of letters than as a man of action.'

On 9 January 1933 Lawrence wrote to Ernest Altounyan: 'Writing has been my inmost self all my life, and I can never put my full strength into anything else. Yet the same force, I know, put into action upon material things would move them, make me famous and effective. The everlasting effort to write is like trying to fight a feather-bed. In letters there is no room for strength.'

These statements and many others, spread across Lawrence's adult life, are the more significant because they were written by the author of Seven Pillars of Wisdom and The Mint. Lawrence was also one of the most successful English translators of Homer's Odyssey and a remarkable letter-writer.  

His friendship with Edward Garnett was central to his post-war writing ambitions. Garnett, at the time one of the most influential figures in the British literary world, was the first critic to read Seven Pillars. He became Lawrence's literary mentor and they remained friends for the rest of Lawrence's life. From 1928 Edward Garnett's son David, a noted novelist, also corresponded with Lawrence. Both father and son constantly urged Lawrence to continue writing. David Garnett would later edit the first major collection of Lawrence's letters. 

We believe that Correspondence with Edward and David Garnett is the key volume in the series we have published covering Lawrence's  literary friendships. It contains many important letters that set out Lawrence's writing ambitions and self-criticisms, while others reveal how much he had studied and practised the craft of writing. Some of the correspondence has been published or partially published in general collections, but all the letters gain considerably from being presented in the context of the entire surviving correspondence, accompanied by scholarly notes.

The volume documents, among other things, the history of Garnett's 1922 abridgement of the 'Oxford' Seven Pillars which, at Bernard Shaw's behest, Lawrence decided not to publish. If he had published it, the income would have changed the course of his life. (We also plan to publish a small edition of that abridgement). The correspondence also proves beyond any possible doubt that it was not until Lawrence accepted the subscription scheme for the 1926 edition of Seven Pillars that he decided to make no money, personally, from the book. 

If fame corresponded to achievement, Edward Garnett would be a famous name in English literature for the help he gave to aspiring writers such as D.H.Lawrence, Joseph Conrad, and others. But he was by nature a 'back-room boy'. He avoided fame, refusing the offer of public honours that he richly deserved.

Lawrence, however, had no doubt how deeply he was in Garnett's debt. In gratitude he gave Garnett the manuscript of his second book, The Mint.

Correspondence with Edward and David Garnett is one of the two volumes (VII and VIII) currently lacking from the series of Lawrence's correspondence with contemporary writers.


Edition limited to 377 numbered copies.  

320 pages, trimmed page-size 282x176 mm. Typeset in Garamond by Castle Hill Press. Frontis. portrait, index.

Standard bindings

260 copies

  1. Full-cloth binding. Top edge gilt, head and tail bands, dust-jacket.
    ISBN 978 1 873141 83 0
  2. A few copies are bound in quarter cloth with a stained top edge.
    ISBN 978 1 873141 84 7

Additional content in the special issues below

The quarter-goatskin and full-goatskin copies are accompanied by a 14-page supplement which contains the surviving (unerased) marginal annotations by Edward Garnett on the Oxford Times proof of Seven Pillars of Wisdom.  

Quarter-goatskin binding

45 copies, numbered 41-85, bound in quarter goatskin with cloth sides; top edge gilt, head and tail bands, hand marbled endpapers. This is a uniform series binding.

ISBN: 978 1 873141 82 3

Full-goatskin binding

40 copies, numbered 1-40, bound in full goatskin. All edges gilt, head and tail bands, hand marbled endpapers.

ISBN: 978 1 873141 81 6

Reserved copies

32 copies numbered I-XXX, A and B are reserved

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