Seven Pillars of Wisdom

Dublin Core

Title

Seven Pillars of Wisdom

Creator

T. E. Lawrence

Publisher

Privately Printed

Date

1926

Caxton Club Member Contributions Item Type Metadata

Brief Notes on Book

Full leather binding with 66 plates, 58 illustrations in text, and four folding maps.

Essay

This is Eric Kennington’s copy of Seven Pillars Of Wisdom, the war memoir of T. E. Lawrence, being his personal history of the Arab Revolt.

Lawrence had a long time interest in limited edition books and wanted his own book to be a lavishly produced one. He sought out the leading young artists of England for illustrations to complement his manuscript. He had seen the paintings of Eric Kennington and soon commissioned him for portraits of Auda abu Tayi and other colorful Arab personalities. Lawrence got additional work from Paul Nash, William Roberts, Colin Gill and Henry Lamb, joining established artists Augustus John, William Nicholson, William Rothenstein and John Singer Sargent. Kennington would serve as art editor.

The type was set by a young American printer, Manning Pike. Leading binders of the day were used and every binding was unique. There were 170 “Complete” copies sold by subscription at 30 guineas each. A low number of “Incomplete” copies, purposely lacking some illustrations, were made by Lawrence to give away to certain friends and soldiers who served with him during the campaign.

This book is inscribed by Lawrence as a “Complete copy. 1.XII.26 TES.” On the fly-leaf Eric Kennington has written: “This book is one of four copies given to E.H.K. by T.E.L. as a reward for the five years efforts of Art Editorship, and was kept for lending between Xmas 1926 and Xmas 1935.”

I like collecting association copies and this is my favorite one.

Contributor

Joe Berton

Files

Seven Pillars spine and cover.jpg

Citation

T. E. Lawrence, “Seven Pillars of Wisdom,” Caxton Club Exhibits, accessed July 26, 2021, https://caxtonclub.omeka.net/items/show/25.