“I DREW THESE TIDES OF MEN INTO MY HANDS AND WROTE MY WILL ACROSS THE SKY IN STARS”
LAWRENCE, T.E. Seven Pillars of Wisdom, A Triumph. London: Jonathan Cape, (1935). Large quarto, modern three-quarter tan morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled endpapers, uncut, top edge gilt. $1750.
First trade edition of Lawrence’s account of his legendary part in the Arab rebellion against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.
Even though "Seven Pillars is remarkably accurate as a military history," its blending of epic heroic adventure, psychological insight, and spiritual transformation make it the literary treasure that Lawrence intended it to be, deserving Winston Churchill's praise as one of "the greatest books ever written in the English language" (Wilson, 55). "We were a self-centered army without parade or gesture, devoted to freedom… a purpose so ravenous that it devoured all our strength, a hope so transcendent that our earlier ambitions faded in its glare… Sometimes [my two] selves would converse in the void; and then madness was very near, as I believe it would be near the man who could see things through the veils at once of two customs, two educations, two environments." First impression, with the erroneous listing on page 20 of the illustration "A Forced Landing" on pages 302-303 (corrected in the second impression to 304-305). Illustrated with photographic plates, portraits from sketches and four folding maps. Preceded only by the very scarce private printing of 1926 and the 1935 limited edition. O'Brien A042.