(London: Jonathan Cape, 1935).
A PLEASING COPY OF THE SCARCE FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE OF ONE OF THE GREATEST AND MOST PERSONAL MILITARY BIOGRAPHIES OF THE CENTURY. This is the first edition that was printed for general circulation and a handsome copy of an enduring masterpiece. All earlier printings were private and done with very low limitations on the printing, thus they are now very scarce and very costly.
Lawrence, in relating the history of his involvement in the Arab revolt against Ottoman rule during the First World War, produced a true literary classic. In October of 1936, upon the occasion of the dedication of the Lawrence Memorial at Oxford, Winston Churchill said: "it is one of the treasures of English literature...as a narrative of war and adventure...it is unsurpassed... it ranks with the greatest books ever written in the English language...If Lawrence had never done anything except write this book as a mere work of the imagination, his fame would last in Macaulay's familiar phrase, "as long as the English language is spoken in any quarter of he globe"." Its fame was further secured by Hollywood: "Lawrence of Arabia," starring Peter O'Toole, was based upon the book. Bernard Shaw described the book as one of the greatest of our time.
A personal narrative of the revolt of Arab armies against the Turks during the First World War, SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM stands as a monument of modern literature and history.
"Seven Pillars is a tale of war and adventure and a profound epitome of all that the Arabs mean to the world. It will take its place at once as an English classic. The richness and energy of the theme, the quality of the prose, the sense of the mystic, immeasurable personality lying behind it, raise the work at once and decisively above the level of contemporary productions. It ranks with Pilgrim’s Progress, Robinson Crusoe, and Gulliver’s Travels as a model of lucid, forcible, fascinating narrative....
Yet intense as is the interest of the story, we feel that many will study it even more closely for the intimate access which it offers to a wonderful and still largely inscrutable man, indifferent to the ordinary prizes of human life and gifted differently and far beyond the normal standards of mankind.
Careless of life or comfort, scornful of wealth or pleasures, having cut out of himself all ambition, all love of power and fame, he nevertheless thirsted for recognition from the generations which he would not see. That he has achieved his purpose cannot be doubted. His book will be read as long as the English language is spoken. Forever it will revive the memories, aye, and the passions, of armageddon; forever it will reveal all that is most characteristic of the Arab race and all that is most vital in war....
The story is told with unrelenting candour. Nothing in Edgar Allan Poe exceeds in horror some of its pages. The description of Lawrence’s torment when he fell unknown into the hands of the Turks is a terrifying, a shocking, and at the same time a necessary passage which enables us to realize better than anything else the war injuries which he sustained, and from which he never completely recovered. We have to think of him in the twenty years that followed as a man seared in body and spirit by the sufferings he had undergone for his country’s cause.
Still, in the main and for all its shadows, this book is a joyous book, and those who read it will not only be instructed and startled but also enthralled and delighted...Lawrence of Arabia is a name that will live in history and in legend. It will never be forgotten..." WC. Item #31211
Lawrence, T. E. SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM (London: Jonathan Cape, 1935).
(London: Jonathan Cape, 1935).