LAWRENCE, T.E. Secret Despatches. London, Golden Cockerel, .
Royal 8vo. Original quarter black morocco, spine lettered in gilt, white cloth sides, top edges gilt, others uncut, the flimsy card slip-case not present; pp. 173, including frontispiece-portrait in photogravure; minimal spotting internally, here and there only, otherwise a very good copy.
First edition, limited to 1,000 numbered copies, this one No. 896. These despatches were reprinted from The Arab Bulletin, a secret document, confined to 26 copies an issue, circulated by G.H.Q. at Ismalia during the First World War.
'The majority of Lawrence's contributions to the Arab Bulletin are published in this volume. In addition to these items, Syrian Cross Currents previously unpublished, is included; this was taken from a manuscript on Arab Bureau paper. Limited to 1000 copies this is the most extensive of the Golden Cockerel volumes by Lawrence' (O'Brien). 'Early in June 1916, when employed by the Arab Bureau, T.E. Lawrence suggested starting confidential summaries of information and reports to supplement the Intelligence Bulletin issued by G.C.H.Q. at Ismailia. The first six summaries were typewritten and reproduced by duplicator; the subsequent issues were printed, and appeared irregularly twice a month, from June, 1916, to December, 1918, under the title of The Arab Bulletin. The information they contained was considered so confidential that only twenty-six copies were sent out, to high officials and officers. The Arab Bulletin was first edited by Lawrence on behalf of the Director of the Arab Bureau. When Lawrence went to Arabia to organize the Arab Revolt he sent in periodical despatches, and reports of his journeys, which were published in The Arab Bulletin. By special permission of the Foreign Office, and by arrangement with Mr A.W. Lawrence, these extremely important documents are now printed in book form for the first time. Although they were composed on the scene of action they are written in Lawrence's vivid and lively style, and give a composite picture of the activities during the Arab War. They have thus a peculiar historical value and are also of great literary interest, since Lawrence undoubtedly drew upon them for reference when he came to write The Seven Pillars Of Wisdom' (prospectus for this publication).