LAWRENCE, T. E.

Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

A Triumph.

London: Jonathan Cape, 1935 Stock Code: 142587
£2,500.00
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"An emotional narrative of the Arab revolt"

First trade edition, limited issue, number 308 of 750 numbered copies issued in this quarter pigskin binding, alongside a cheaper issue bound in cloth. This first trade edition was preceded only by the unprocurable Oxford Times edition of 1922 (of which there were just eight copies printed), and the sumptuous 1926 Cranwell edition (limited to 211 copies).

"Lawrence had taken part in the preliminary planning of the Arab uprising and, in October 1916, was ordered to Jiddah to assess the military situation. What followed is recorded in Seven Pillars of Wisdom, a personal, emotional narrative of the Arab revolt in which Lawrence reveals how by sheer willpower he made history. It was a testimony to his vision and persistence and a fulfilment of his desire to write an epic which might stand comparison in scale and linguistic elegance with his beloved Morte d'Arthur and C. M. Doughty's Arabia Deserta. 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 as Christian, a figure sustained by his faith in the Arabs, successively overcoming physical and moral obstacles" (ODNB).

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Description

Quarto. Publisher's tan quarter pigskin on sand buckram boards, spine lettered in gilt, crossed swords device in gilt to front cover, Cockerell marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, others uncut.

Illustrations

With a portrait frontispiece and 53 plates, many of them in colour, 3 facsimile, and 4 folding maps.

Condition

With the bookplate of John Raymond Danson (1893-1975) to front pastedown. Very minor rubbing but far less pronounced than usual, very light bumping at tips, contents clean; a near-fine copy.

Bibliography

O'Brien A041.

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