the first full-length biography of lawrence
LAWRENCE, Thomas Edward - Lowell THOMAS. With Lawrence in Arabia ... 105th Thousand. London, Hutchinson, .
8vo. Original RAF blue cloth, ruled and lettered in black; pp. 254 [2, Allenby's announcement of TEL's death]; half-tone portrait frontispiece, plates after photographs; binding and text a little spotted, gift inscription, dated October 1935 to front fly-leaf.
First edition, second printing, to be published after the death of the subject of the book. In May 1925, 'Hutchinson had published a popular biography by Lowell Thomas called With Lawerence in Arabia, based on [Lowell's] earlier slide lectures. The book was of little comfort to Lawrence. When [E.M.] Forster had the idea of reviewing it, Lawrence sent him some notes, saying of Lowell Thomas: "I resent him: but am disarmed by his good intentions. He is as vulgar as they make them: believes he is doing me a great turn by bringing my virtue into the public air". A great deal of the book, according to Lawrence, was "either invention or gossip. Some of the invention is deliberate, though much that he put into his American magazine articles (red-hot lying it was) has been left out of the American edition of his book. I've not seen the English edition. I thought the American version so misjointed and broken-backed as to be nearly unintelligible, as a history of me in Arabia or of the Arab Campaign above my head! However perhaps I am biased. His details are commonly wrong ...' (J. Wilson Lawrence of Arabia (London: 1989), pp. 760-761). With Lawrence in Arabia was first published in New York in 1924 and the first British edition was issued by Hutchinson in London in 1925, which enjoyed a great and instant popularity and was reprinted many times, reaching the 78th thousand in 1933. One page of the preliminaries has the printed note 'The Publishers desire to state that Colonel Lawrence is not the source from which the facts in this volume were obtained, nor is he in any way responsible for its contents'.
O'Brien E015, note, dating tentatively 1936.