The Golden Cockerel Press, 1940. First, Limited Edition. Hardcover. This is the Golden Cockerel Press finely bound limited edition of a collection of five essays in literary criticism by T. E. Lawrence with Introduction by Arnold Walker Lawrence, the youngest brother of T. E. Lawrence, his literary executor, and a historian of classical sculpture and architecture. This particular copy, #262 of 500, is of special interest for being signed by A. W. Lawrence just below his printed name on the title page. The 500 copies of this edition were bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe in quarter deep blue-green Niger morocco over tan linen covered boards. The contents were printed on heavy, laid paper with gilt top edge and untrimmed fore and bottom edges.
"In 1927, by request of the editor, F. Yeats-Brown, Lawrence published five book reviews under the pseudonym of C.D. (Colin Dale) in The Spectator. Two of these are reprinted here: 'A Review of the Novels by D.H. Lawrence' and 'A Review of the Short Stories of H.G. Wells'. Also included are 'A Note on James Elroy Flecker', 'A Criticism of Henry Williamson's Tarka The Otter', and 'A Review of the Works of Walter Savage Landor'." (O'Brien A229) This wartime, fine press edition was published in mid-July 1940, at the beginning of the Battle of Britain and five years after the death of T. E. Lawrence.
Condition of this signed copy is very good. The binding is tight and clean with sharp corners. The quarter leather spine is very lightly sunned with mild wear to the raised bands and spine ends. Nonetheless, the spine gilt remains bright and shelf presentation is respectable. The contents are bright with light intermittent spotting substantially confined to the first and final leaves. We find no previous ownership names or markings apart from the binder's “Bound by S. & S. London” ink stamp on the lower front pastedown and “1897” in pencil on the lower rear pastedown.
Arnold Walker Lawrence (1900-1991) “had always been close to his brother T. E. Lawrence—the eldest brother had become a missionary and the two others were killed in the First World War…” When T. E. Lawrence died in 1935, A. W. inherited his brother’s estate and copyrights. “T. E. Lawrence's death in 1935 saddled him with a literary executorship which he performed long and faithfully.” A. W. shared some of his famous brother’s intellectual passions which he had time to develop as a lifelong academic, becoming a recognized authority on ancient Greek and Roman sculpture and fortifications. A. W. “was one of the more original classical archaeologists of his time, with an exceptional knowledge of other cultures, which he used with disconcerting effect. Deservedly, his later books became standard works.” (ODNB) He eventually became a Fellow of the British Academy.
Reference: O'Brien A229. Item #005191