Seven pillars of wisdom. A triumph.


Seven pillars of wisdom. A triumph.

London, Jonathan Cape, 1935.

In stock


A finely bound example.
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 of Wisdom was completed by November 1919, but soon lost, according to the author, on 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. 4to, untrimmed, 4 folding maps, 54 portrait plates, bound by Maurin in full red morocco gilt, covers with double gilt fillet, gilt panelled spine in six compartments, gilt lettered direct in second and fourth, others richly gilt, raised bands, broad inner gilt dentelles, top edge gilt, a fine copy.

Provenance: Steve Fossett (bookplate to upper flyleaf).


O’Brien AO42.


Stock ID: 98931