Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph. [London: Privately printed for the author by Manning Pike and H. J. Hodgson], 1926
In 2s (9 7/8 x 7 1/2 in.; 251 x 190 mm). Printed in red and black, initial letters by Edward Wadsworth, four folding color lithographed maps (two copies each of two maps), frontispiece portrait of King Feysal after Augustus John, 65 plates (mostly in color and bound after the text) and 58 text illustrations after John, Eric Kennington, William Roberts, Paul Nash, Blair Hughes-Stanton, William Nicholson, and others. Red morocco gilt by De Coverly, spine gilt in six compartments, covers with gilt arabesque patterns, top edge gilt, pictorial endpapers. Half red morocco gilt folding-case.
First published edition (the Subscribers or "Cranwell" edition), one of 170 complete copies, inscribed and initialed by Lawrence, "Complete copy, 1.xii.26. T. E. S." on page XIX, and with Lawrence's customary holograph correction of attribution to "The Gadfly" plate. As usual, this copy contains "The Prickly Pear," a plate not called for in the list of illustrations, but does not have the Paul Nash line drawings called for on pages 92 and 208.
with: 2 autograph letters signed ("T. E. Shaw"), n.p., 26 October and 1 November 1926, 2 pages (9 x 7 in.; 228 x 177 mm), to "Feilding," giving him details for the purchasing the book and instructions for payment — "Some Notes on the Writing of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom," [n.p., 1926], 4to, 4-page leaflet.
"Seven Pillars of Wisdom was originally the title of a travel book about seven cities of the East which Lawrence claimed to have written and destroyed in 1914. This title, which derives from the Book of Proverbs, chapter X, verse 1 ('Wisdon hath builded her house, she hat hewn out her seven pillars'), was re-used for Lawrence's account of the Arab Revolt and of his part in it …. Lawrence closely supervised the printing of the subscriber's edition …. The first copies were available in December 1926 and the rest were distributed in 1927. As a final flourish, Lawrence had almost every copy bound in a different way, using the leading binders of the day, including Sangorski and Sutcliffe, McLeish, and De Coverly [who bound the present copy] …. He gave to his friends and those associated with the Arab campaign a further 32 'incomplete' copies, which were lacking some of the illustrations" (Bodleian/Lawrence, pp. 42 and 49)
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