Illustrations to Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph. T. E. Lawrence.
Illustrations to Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
Illustrations to Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
Illustrations to Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
Illustrations to Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
Illustrations to Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
Illustrations to Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
Illustrations to Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

Illustrations to Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

Salisbury, England: Castle Hill Press, 1997. Hardcover. This is the finely bound, stand-alone, limited issue of the Illustrations volume from the 1997 first Castle Hill press limited edition of the full 1922 "Oxford Text" of Seven Pillars of Wisdom.  This copy is hand-numbered #43 of 45 issued thus, in quarter green morocco over brown cloth.  Jeremy Wilson of Castle Hill Press informs us that these 45 copies are an interesting oddity.  When the binder contracted by Castle Hill press went out of business, 45 sets of unbound illustrations sheets were recovered.  “We had these bound up and offered them to people who had bought full-goatskin or quarter-goatskin copies of the 2003 Library Edition of the 1922 Seven Pillars, which didn't have the colour plates of the 1997 edition. We gave precedence to holders of the full-goatskin copies.  The original plan was to have them bound in brown to match the Seven Pillars binding, but the same shade of brown wasn't available: nothing near it. So rather than send a bad match we did them in green, as a complementary colour.”  Of note the brown cloth is the same as that used on the slipcase for the 2003 full-goatskin binding issue of the 1922 text of Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Condition of this copy is fine, the binding square, clean, bright, and tight, the contents immaculate with no previous ownership marks and no spotting.  The volume is a stunning visual accompaniment to any Seven Pillars of Wisdom text, featuring 41 full-page Seven Pillars Portraits (26 in full color as in the 1926 Subscriber's edition) as well as 127 war photographs, mainly from the collection Lawrence formed and presented to the Imperial War Museum.  Lawrence famously resisted publication of his masterwork - the story of his war years for which he became known as "Lawrence of Arabia" - for the general public during his lifetime. The saga is remarkable. He nearly completed a massive first draft in 1919, only to famously lose it when his briefcase was mislaid at a train station. This first draft was never recovered. At a fever pitch, Lawrence wrote a new 400,000 word draft in 1920. This punishing burst of writing was followed by an equally brutal process of editing by Lawrence. In 1922, a 335,000 word version was carefully circulated to select friends and literary critics - the famous "Oxford Text". George Bernard Shaw called it "a masterpiece". Nonetheless, Lawrence was unready to see it distributed to the public. Finally, in 1926, a further edited 250,000 word "Subscribers' Edition" was produced by Lawrence - but fewer than 200 copies were made, each lavishly and uniquely bound. The process cost Lawrence far more than he made in subscriptions. To recover the loss, Lawrence finally authorized an edition for the general public - but one even further abridged and entitled "Revolt in the Desert". It was only in the summer of 1935, in the weeks following Lawrence's death, that the text of the Subscribers' Edition was finally published for circulation to the general public. However, the fuller "Oxford Text" - a third longer than the shortened text which became so famous - would not be republished until 1997.  Castle Hill Press took the text from the manuscript in the Bodleian Library and T. E. Lawrence's annotated copy of the 1922 Oxford Times printing, issuing a three-volume limited edition of 752 sets of the Oxford Text.  The first two volumes were text, the third with the contents of this accompanying Illustrations volume.  Bibliographic reference: O'Brien A034a. Item #004157

Price: $750.00

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