LAWRENCE, Thomas Edward. Crusader Castles. I. The Thesis. [II. The Letters]. Edited by A.W. Lawrence.

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LAWRENCE, Thomas Edward. Crusader Castles. I. The Thesis. [II. The Letters]. Edited by A.W. Lawrence. London: The Golden Cockerel Press, 1936.

Two volumes, 4to. Original half tan morocco over cream linen by Sangorski & Sutcliffe with their stamp on the upper pastedowns, spines lettered in gilt with title and with gilt press device at foot, top edges gilt, others uncut; pp. 56; 62; titles printed in red, collotype frontispiece in volume II, 51 plates with collotype or line facsimiles, illustrations, maps and plans after Lawrence printed on the rectos or rectos and versos, one printed in red, green and black, illustrations in the text, one full-page map printed in red and black, and 2 folding maps after H. Pirie-Gordon printed in red and black contained in a loosely-inserted envelope at the end of vol. I (as issued); spines slightly faded, a few marks on boards, as often, very light offsetting from endpapers, otherwise a clean and fresh set.
First edition, number 428 of 1,000 copies. Originally written in 1910 as an undergraduate thesis based on researches in Britain, France and the Near East, and titled The Influence of the Crusades on European Militarry Architecture--to the End of the XIIth Century, Lawrence revised, amended and enlarged the text after his graduation, but (despite his efforts to do so) it was never published. The present, first edition under the title Crusader Castles was edited by his brother from Lawrence's annotated typescript and other sources, and the second volume contains letters written by Lawrence to his family during his research journeys, prefaced by a brief biographical introduction by his mother, Sarah Lawrence. O'Brien judges that, 'Lawrence's thesis in this work is counter to the accepted view that improvements in military architecture had been brought back from the Near East by the Crusaders: he believed rather that the improvements had been developed in Europe and taken by the Crusaders to the Near East. This is a discussion not yet entirely settled'. Crusader Castles was the first of four finely-printed works by Lawrence to be published by the Golden Cockerel Press in the years following his death; the others were Secret Dispatches from Arabia (1939), Men in Print (1940), and Shaw-Ede: T.E. Lawrence's Letters to H.S. Ede, 1927-1935 (1942).
Chanticleer 112; Clements pp. 27-28; O'Brien A188-189.