Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
London, Jonathan Cape, 1935
Following his extraordinary military and diplomatic career in Arabia, and having already become a legendary figure in the public imagination, T.E. Lawrence purchased his Dorset cottage retreat Clouds Hill in 1924 to write his book about the war. The first draft of Seven Pillars was completed by November 1919, but was soon lost, according to the author, at Reading Station. A second draft was finished during 1922, and finally appeared as a private edition, reflecting Lawrence's love of fine printing, in 1926.
'Subtitled "A triumph", its climax is the Arab liberation of Damascus, a victory which successfully concludes a gruelling campaign and vindicates Lawrence's faith in the Arabs. In a way Seven Pillars is a sort of Pilgrim's Progress, with Lawrence, sustained by his faith in the Arabs, successively overcoming physical and moral obstacles' (ODNB).
First trade edition, first impression; 4to (25 x 19.5 cm); 4 folding maps printed in red and black, 54 plates including portrait frontispiece; crushed brown morocco by Bayntun-Riviere, panels ruled in gilt, gilt spine in 6 compartments, all edges gilt, minor wear to extremities, a handsome copy; 672pp.
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