[Lawrence, T.E.]

SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM. A Triumph

Published: Printed for the author by Manning Pike and H.J. Hodgson, London, 1926

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Incomplete copy: 659, (i printer’s colophon), pages, lacks all the preliminary pages between the title page and the Introduction to Chapters I to VII (text starts with Chapter I at page 3), including the List of Illustrations initialled T.E.S. and leaves 526/7 and 535/6, with 17 of 61 plates but without the 4 folding maps, pages 92 and 208 are blank, five-page pamphlet – Some Notes on the Writing of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Shaw – bound in at the front. Full dark blue leather, the spine titled – Seven Pillars of Wisdom: E.T. Shaw (sic), patterned endpapers with cloth hinges, all edges untrimmed including the top edge, printed on white, mould-made unwatermarked paper, contained a paper (same pattern as the endpapers) and leather slip case which is worn around all the edges. Seven pages bear annotations in red ink in the margins in what appear to be some form of code and two pages have underling in red ink. The leather is a little worn along the edges and on the raised bands, the contents are crisp.

O’Brien (Philip M.) T.E. LAWRENCE, A Bibliography, (G.K. Hall & Co., Boston, 1988), A040, pages 43/45, lists the edition as being ‘Limited to 211 copies as follows: Complete 170 copies, incomplete 32, 9 spoils (Texas Quarterly .56, Autumn 1962, v.5., no.3)…….Lawrence’s inventory lists: 127 copies sold to subscribers at 30gns each, 19 incomplete copies given to ‘architects’ of the revolt, 17 complete copies given to friends, 26 incomplete copies given to people mentioned in book (=211 full texts).’

Also A039, page 43, for the pamphlet, Some Notes on the Writing of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Shaw. ‘About two hundred copies for distribution to subscribers.’ Published 1927.

In Some Notes, page 4, Lawrence comments, ‘The Seven Pillars was so printed and assembled that nobody but myself knew how many copies were produced. I propose to keep this knowledge to myself. Newspaper statements of 107 copies can be easily disproved, for there were more than 107 subscribers: and in addition I gave away, not perhaps as many copies as I owed, but as many as my bankers could afford, to those who had shared with me in the Arab effort, or in the actual production of the volume.’

The present copy is a conundrum. Could it be one of the ‘spoils’ mentioned in the Texas Quarterly article? We have not been able to trace a record of another similar copy.

  • Size: 4to (265 x215 mm)
  • Sold By: Clarke's Africana & Rare Books
  • Contact Person: Paul Mills
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Telephone: 021 794 0600
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  • Trade Associations: ABA - ILAB, SABDA


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