Item #007850 Oriental Assembly. Thomas Edward Lawrence "of Arabia", T. E.
Oriental Assembly
Oriental Assembly
Oriental Assembly
Oriental Assembly
Oriental Assembly

Oriental Assembly

London: Williams and Norgate Ltd., 1939. First edition, second printing. Hardcover. This is an exceptionally clean first edition, second printing. This second printing was published in May 1939, the same month as the first printing, and is identical with the sole exception of the print history on the copyright page.

Condition is near fine in a near fine dust jacket. The jacket is clean, bright, and complete apart from a neatly price-clipped lower front flap. Trivial wear is confined to hinges and extremities. The jacket is fitted with a clear, removable, archival cover. The volume beneath it suits its jacket. The khaki cloth binding is tight and clean with sharp corners, bright spine gilt, and no appreciable wear apart from a little wrinkling to the spine heel. The contents are bright with a crisp, unread feel. The brown-stained top edges retain deep, unfaded color. The sole detraction that prevents our grading the volume as fine is spotting, primarily confined to the prelims and to the fore and bottom edges. A small bookplate with a printed name is affixed to the upper front free endpaper recto and a tiny sticker of “Anthony Hoderns”, which traded under that name from 1823-1966 in Sydney, Australia, evolving from a drapery shop into a major department store.

Published four years after Lawrence’s death, Oriental Assembly was arranged by his brother and literary executor, A. W. Lawrence. The book purports to contain “all the hitherto uncollected writings by Lawrence about the East. First, a Diary kept during a journey which Lawrence made on foot through Northern Syria in the summer of 1911, chiefly for the purpose of studying and photographing Crusaders’ castles and of collecting antiquities for the Museum at Oxford… In addition the book contains the full text of the suppressed Introductory Chapter to Seven Pillars of Wisdom.” Two essays one on The Changing East (previously published anonymously) and The Evolution of a Revolt – are also published here. “The second part of the book contains over 100 remarkable and mostly unpublished photographs taken by Lawrence during the Revolt in the Desert.”

During the First World War, Thomas Edward “T. E.” Lawrence (1888-1935) experienced a transformative odyssey as instigator, organizer, hero, and tragic figure of the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire, which he began as an eccentric junior intelligence officer and ended as "Lawrence of Arabia”. But, as the diary published here indicates, less than a decade before, he trekked alone through the Middle East for a far more esoteric and academic purpose. And, as also indicated here in essays and images, Lawrence’s interest in the Middle East exceeded the deeds, wartime exigencies, and eventual Seven Pillars of Wisdom recounting of his role in the Arab Revolt.

Reference: O'Brien A221. Item #007850

Price: $150.00

See all items in Other Authors