The Selected Letters

Malcolm Brown, Author, T. E. Lawrence, Author W. W. Norton & Company $27.5 (568p) ISBN 978-0-393-02684-9
Although he regarded letter-writing as ``a bad habit,'' Lawrence of Arabia (Thomas Edward Lawrence, 1888-1935) wrote and received thousands of letters. Once he left the Middle East, he led a ``comparatively empty'' life, so his letters served as a lifeline to the outside world. Even his routine, casual notes were carefully crafted. Unlike the collections of 1938 and 1954, this is unexpurgated, containing many letters previously unavailable even to biographers, addressing correspondents such as E. M. Forster, Noel Coward, Ezra Pound, Augustus John and Charlotte (Mrs. G. B.) Shaw, Lawrence's most trusted epistolary confidant. Also included is much previously unpublished material about Lawrence during WW I, about his sexuality and about his state of mind in the last weeks of his life. Each letter is briefly but carefully annotated; none have been censored, even though Lawrence himself felt that they should not be held up to scrutiny by the public. The book is a major literary work. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Paperback - 564 pages - 978-1-55778-518-3
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