Friday, July 16, 2010

Seven Pillars of Wisdom

A portrait of a man's head.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.

The spine and cover of a leather-bound volume titled "The Seven Pillars."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.

A portrait of a bearded man with a headcloth.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

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