Fine ALS, signed T.E. Lawrence.

LAWRENCE T.E. (1920.)


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To "Dear Callow". 2 pp. 8vo. Some light soiling, a couple of patches of abrasion indicating that the letter may have been removed from an album, some offsetting of ink, but in very acceptable condition. On letterhead of All Souls College, Oxford, Sept. 2 

An important and interesting early letter, apparently unpublished, concerning Lawrence's attempts to create a new post-war identity. He discusses his desire to change names "I'm utterly bored with my old name, which now invokes the idea of a melodramatic sort of idiot . . . in town I usually call myself Ross (a name of my mothers' family) for comfort's sake", and later makes a further plea for anonymity "Not "Colonel" please now: it's only the press which still hankers after titles." The postscript is on the still contentious issue of his linguistic abilities "It's quaint John of London calling me an Arabic scholar: I can't read or write the stuff!"The use of "Ross" at this early date is surprising, and pre-dates the previously earliest-known use of the pseudonym on his entrance to the R.A.F. in 1922: it is possible that his mention of the name here is a matter of "trying it on for size". Lawrence's mention of a maternal family source for the name, is previously unknown to biographers, and may be a fiction.

Stock Code: 225585

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