Lettres de T.E. Lawrence (The Letters of T. E. Lawrence), an unopened service de presse copy of the first French trade edition, inscribed by both translators and including an unrecorded pre-publication publisher's leaflet about the book which specifies a different publication date than that recorded by Lawrence's bibliographer. originally T. E. Lawrence, further edited David Garnett, translated into, René Étiemble, Yassu Gauclère.
Lettres de T.E. Lawrence (The Letters of T. E. Lawrence), an unopened service de presse copy of the first French trade edition, inscribed by both translators and including an unrecorded pre-publication publisher's leaflet about the book which specifies a different publication date than that recorded by Lawrence's bibliographer
Lettres de T.E. Lawrence (The Letters of T. E. Lawrence), an unopened service de presse copy of the first French trade edition, inscribed by both translators and including an unrecorded pre-publication publisher's leaflet about the book which specifies a different publication date than that recorded by Lawrence's bibliographer
Lettres de T.E. Lawrence (The Letters of T. E. Lawrence), an unopened service de presse copy of the first French trade edition, inscribed by both translators and including an unrecorded pre-publication publisher's leaflet about the book which specifies a different publication date than that recorded by Lawrence's bibliographer
Lettres de T.E. Lawrence (The Letters of T. E. Lawrence), an unopened service de presse copy of the first French trade edition, inscribed by both translators and including an unrecorded pre-publication publisher's leaflet about the book which specifies a different publication date than that recorded by Lawrence's bibliographer
Lettres de T.E. Lawrence (The Letters of T. E. Lawrence), an unopened service de presse copy of the first French trade edition, inscribed by both translators and including an unrecorded pre-publication publisher's leaflet about the book which specifies a different publication date than that recorded by Lawrence's bibliographer
Lettres de T.E. Lawrence (The Letters of T. E. Lawrence), an unopened service de presse copy of the first French trade edition, inscribed by both translators and including an unrecorded pre-publication publisher's leaflet about the book which specifies a different publication date than that recorded by Lawrence's bibliographer
Lettres de T.E. Lawrence (The Letters of T. E. Lawrence), an unopened service de presse copy of the first French trade edition, inscribed by both translators and including an unrecorded pre-publication publisher's leaflet about the book which specifies a different publication date than that recorded by Lawrence's bibliographer
Lettres de T.E. Lawrence (The Letters of T. E. Lawrence), an unopened service de presse copy of the first French trade edition, inscribed by both translators and including an unrecorded pre-publication publisher's leaflet about the book which specifies a different publication date than that recorded by Lawrence's bibliographer

Lettres de T.E. Lawrence (The Letters of T. E. Lawrence), an unopened service de presse copy of the first French trade edition, inscribed by both translators and including an unrecorded pre-publication publisher's leaflet about the book which specifies a different publication date than that recorded by Lawrence's bibliographer

Paris: Gallimard, 1949. First French trade edition, inscribed presentation service de presse copy of the first edition. Paperback. This is an uncut “service de presse” review copy of the first French trade edition of the Letters of T.E. Lawrence, inscribed by both translators and accompanied by a bibliographically significant publisher’s leaflet advertising the work (unrecorded by O’Brien). This fragile volume is in very good condition. This is a review copy as evidenced by the “S.P.” (service de presse) printed on both the rear cover and title page. The translators’ inscription on the half title page is inked in black in three lines in Yassu Gauclère’s hand, “A Monsieur Desgranges | homage des traducteurs | Yassu Gauclère” to which Étiemble added his signature. The tan paper wraps binding is square, complete, firmly attached, and free of loss or tears. We note light overall soiling, minor wear to extremities, and differential (darker) toning to a 1.75 inch (4.4 cm) strip of the top of the front cover. The contents feature uncut signatures throughout; this copy is obviously unread. The pages remain clean and free of spotting, despite inevitable age-toning. The book came to us beneath a removable glassine protector which is plausibly original. Over the glassine wrapper is a clear, removable archival mylar protector. Laid in the book we found an original publisher’s advertising leaflet not recorded in O’Brien’s bibliography. The leaflet is printed in black on both sides of thin yellow stock and measures 7.17 x 4.5 in (18.21 x 11.43 cm). The publisher’s leaflet invites some speculation as to O’Brien’s accuracy in recording the publication date of Lettres as December 1948; this flyer indicates that the book was to be published in January 1949 which was then overprinted and amended on the leaflet to February. The leaflet also shows an amended and overprinted price, increased to 1.150 francs. The yellow leaflet is crisp and bright with a single horizontal fold line and some wrinkling along the left edge, and a small loss to the blank margins at the top right corner. The leaflet is protected within a removable, archival quality mylar sleeve. This first French edition was based on David Garnett’s 1938 Letters of T.E. Lawrence. The 583 letters in this first French edition include the first book appearance of four additional letters, three of them written during the First World War and the fourth written just a week before his death. T. E. Lawrence (1888-1935) achieved fame from his remarkable odyssey as instigator, organizer, hero, and tragic figure of the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War, which he began as an eccentric junior intelligence officer and ended as “Lawrence of Arabia.”  But Lawrence’s literary and intellectual reach far exceeded the world and words of Seven Pillars of Wisdom and included engaging facility as a prolific correspondent. To his great friend and literary mentor, Edward Garnett, Lawrence once wrote “…’ware letter writing. It’s a bad habit.” (letter of 7 September 1922) Nonetheless, as Lawrence’s official biographer Jeremy Wilson wrote, “T. E. Lawrence was remarkable, among other things, for the quality of his letters. It is not just that they are interesting and well-written; they also provide intriguing links to different aspects of British life in the first half of the twentieth century. As many have discovered, an interest in Lawrence can quickly become a gateway to the history and culture of his time.” This first French translation was the work of the renowned French essayist, scholar, and promoter of Middle Eastern and Asian cultures René Étiemble (1909-2002) and his wife, Yassu Gauclère (1907-1961). They explain in the preface that they have, with assistance and approval of Lawrence’s brother and literary executor A. W. Lawrence, made a number of corrections to the letters as printed in the preceding English language edition. Bibliographic reference: O'Brien A207. Item #004786

Price: $400.00