Friday, July 16, 2010

Seven Pillars of Wisdom

T.E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph is an autobiographical account of Lawrence's involvement in the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turks during World War I.  Lawrence began writing the text in 1919, and after several complete reworkings, one due to the loss of the first manuscript while changing trains, produced a final version of approximately 350,000 words.  This "1922 Edition" was later abridged in a privately printed subscriber's edition in 1926, each with a unique binding.

One of 170 complete copies of the 1926 "Cranwell" edition, this volume is bound in green and gold by Roger de Coverly and Sons and is inscribed by Lawrence on page xix: "complete copy. 1.XII.26 TES."  The TES stands for T.E. Shaw, Lawrence's pseudonym.

The numerous illustrations are by several artists, including Kennington, Roberts, Augustus John, William Nicholson, and Paul Nash.  Inserted in the volume by the donor are two sheets of paper with the signatures, in arabic, of King Faisal (pictured), Safoit El Awa, annd Jafar el Askeri.

Ask for Rauner Lawrence 65 to see the complete volume

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Road Trip

Taking a vacation this summer? Need the best maps available? Well, if it is England you are visiting, you could consult John Ogilby's Itinerarium Angliae: or, a Book of Roads, wherein are Contain'd the Principal; Road-Ways of His Majesty's Kingdom of England and Dominion of Wales (London: John Ogilby, 1674), but you might get lost.

The maps are laid out in scroll form on the page ("ribbons of highway?") and take the reader through the countryside noting the locations of inns and other spots of interest to travelers. Because roads twist and turn, but the format of this book insists on straight courses, the perspective is rarely the same even on the same page.  Notice how the compass roses vary across the page, sometimes pointing to the side, other times angling over to the corner of the page.

The maps in this volume were revised over and over, and this book and its successors, Britannia Depicta: or, Ogilby Improved and The Traveller's Pocket-Book, or Ogilby and Morgan's Book of the Roads was the standard source for travelers for well over 100 years.

Come plan your trip with Rare Book G1808.O3 1675.