Lot Number 135
Author [LAWRENCE, T.E.]
Year Published 1926
Place Printed
Description [LAWRENCE, T.E.] SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM. A TRIUMPH. [PRIVATELY PRINTED, 1926] 4to (251 by 188mm.), the subscribers' or "Cranwell" edition, one of 32 “incomplete” copies (from an edition of 211 copies) (annotated “Incomplete copy | I.XII.26 TES” on page XIX), presentation copy inscribed by the author to E.M. Forster (“E.M.F. | from | T.E.S. | Not good enough, but as good, apparently, as I can do. | I.XII.26.”) on preliminary blank together with later inscription from E.M. Forster to Bob Buckingham (“R.J. Buckingham | from | E.M. Forster | 20-1-68”) on preliminary blank, printed in red and black, frontispiece portrait of King Feysal after Augustus John and 62 (of 65) plates (mostly in colour) and other text illustrations after Roberts, Kennington, Nash, Nicholson and others, 4 folding coloured maps, decorative initials by Edward Wadsworth, original full tan morocco signed by Sangorski and Sutcliffe, tooled in gilt on covers, spine gilt in compartments, endpapers by Kennington, collector’s tan morocco backed folding box with30typed leavesand1 handwrittenleafby Forster, occasional light spotting, one of the most complete of the “incomplete copies” but lacking plates ‘Waterfalls’ and ‘Mountains’ (within the plates following the text) and ‘Prophet’s Tomb’ (not listed, but noted by O’Brien)
Comments PROVENANCE E.M. Forster; Bob Buckingham (presentation inscriptions) LITERATURE O'Brian A040 CATALOGUE NOTE The limited edition of Lawrence's epic masterpiece and a major association copy. Lawrence had eight copies of his work printed in 1922 (the “Oxford edition”) and loaned these to various people for criticism. The list included Shaw, Hardy, Kipling, Sassoon and Forster. P.N. Furbank notes that Seven Pillars affected Forster “not only as a man but as a writer. He wrote the two final chapters of A Passage to India under its influence, completing them, and the novel, in a burst of confident energy” (see P.N. Furbank, E.M. Forster: A Life, Vol 2, 1978, p. 120). Lawrence and Forster first met in February 1921 and, in addition to several meetings, the friendship prospered by letter. For Lawrence, Forster was “lord of the pen”. On Lawrence’s death, Forster was asked to edit his letters but would eventually resign his editorship. Furbank notes this copy as “a parting present” from Lawrence to Forster when Lawrence was posted to Karachi. Apparently Lawrence had intended to inscribe the volume “To a swift runner. From one who walks” but decided, eventually, that “I don’t think it fits perfectly”. O'Brien notes that "incomplete" copies were presented to the men who had served with Lawrence in Arabia and who were unable to pay the high price asked for the complete issue. Evidently the author used one of these copies for Forster and this copy includes most of the plates. During Lawrence’s absence, Forster collated the 1924 edition against the “Oxford” text. This copy bears the marks of Forster’s work with numerous pencil annotations throughout the book. The volume is accompanied by 30 typed leaves (on Forster’s “West Hackhurst” headed paper) and 1 handwritten leaf on which Forster transcribed text omitted from the 1924 edition. Also included is Some Notes on the Writing of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom (see O’Brien A039). Forster presented this copy to his friend and lover, Bob Buckingham. The novelist and police constable (later a probation officer) first met in 1930 and their relationship would last until Forster’s death forty years later. Indeed, Forster asked to be taken to Bob and May Buckingham’s house in Coventry during his final days and died there in June 1970. Forster had been a witness at the Buckinghams’ wedding in 1932 and became godfather to their son born the following year.
Estimated Price GBP 70,000.00 - 90,000.00
( USD 117,600.00 - 151,200.00 )
Actual Price GBP 97,250.00 ( USD 156,572.50 )



Auction House Sothebys
Auction Name English Literature and History
Sale Number #L12408
Auction Date December 12, 2012 - December 12, 2012
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