THE EARLIEST OBTAINABLE TYPESCRIPT VERSION OF LAWRENCE'S RECORD OF LIFE IN THE RAF. Like other works by Lawrence, The Mint
has a complex textual history. The bulk of the text was written in 1922 but in 1927 he started reworking his raw notes, literally dismantling his original manuscript, of which only small fragments survive. He gave his final typescript to his friend Edward Garnett, asking him to offer it to Jonathan Cape, for whom he acted as a reader, on condition that it be published unexpurgated. Lawrence knew that the barrack-room obscenities would make this impossible, hoped this would free him from the clause in his contract for Revolt in the Desert
tying him to offer Cape another book. Garnett received Lawrence's heavily revised typescript on 18 April 1928, and four days later he hailed the book a masterpiece: "It's elastic, sinewy, terse; and spirit and matter are the inside-out of its technique, perfectly harmonious throughout - inseparable, as in all first-rate stuff" (Wilson, Lawrence of Arabia
This is one of three typescripts produced by Edward Garnett on receipt of Lawrence's heavily revised typescript (which is now at the Houghton Library, Harvard). It is the copy he gave to his son, the novelist David Garnett, the only person that Lawrence gave permission to be shown the text (see Wilson, p.821). Despite Lawrence's original strictures, the text soon began to circulate more widely within select literary circles. Lawrence also continued to tinker with the text in subsequent years. In 1936 a copyright edition was produced in just 50 copies based on the 1928 text, whereas the 1955 expurgated edition incorporated Lawrence's later revisions.