Military Report on the Sinai Peninsula
Towards 'An English Fourth'
Seven Pillars of Wisdom, The Complete 1922 Text
'The Mint' and Later Writings About Service Life
Boats for the R.A.F. 1929-1935
reports and correspondence
The Forest Giant
Correspondence with Bernard and Charlotte Shaw
Correspondence with E. M. Forster and F.L. Lucas
More Correspondence with Writers
Correspondence with Edward and David Garnett
Correspondence with Henry Williamson
Translating the Bruce Rogers 'Odyssey'
Correspondence with the Political Elite 1922-1935
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T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Parallel 1922 and 1926 Texts
50 numbered sets, Castle Hill Press, 2008
Printed for subscribers
ABOUT THIS BOOK
In 1997, when we first published Seven Pillars of Wisdom, The Complete 1922 Text, we issued twenty 'extra-special' sets in inlaid goatskin bindings. Given the importance of the edition, we felt we should accompany these with something truly remarkable.
At 334,500 words, the 1922 text is a third longer than Lawrence's subscribers' abridgement (the text that became a world classic). There are also significant differences in writing style.
After some thought, we decided to add two further volumes to the extra-special sets. In these we would typeset the 1922 text alongside the subscribers' abridgement. Each page would reveal what had been cut and what revisions had been made.
We used the same large format as the 1997 Seven Pillars and on each page set the two texts side-by-side in double column. As typeface we used Times New Roman, which was specially designed to work well in narrow newspaper columns.
Although there were to be only 37 copies, typesetting the parallel Seven Pillars was a major project. The combined texts run to over half a million words.
Our first idea was to align the beginning of each paragraph that appeared in both texts. We later refined this to align the beginning of each sentence. That made it even easier to see what Lawrence had omitted, moved or revised.
Long before the project was finished, we realised that we were creating something valuable to scholars in its own right. It seemed a pity that so few people would see it.
A new issue of fifty copies
In 2008 we sorted through about three cubic metres of material returned to us, over the years, by The Fine Bindery. It included unbound book-blocks, spoiled copies, trial bindings, title blocks, remnants of binding cloth, half-finished bindings and a large number of redundant printed sections. Most of these were simply 'over-sigs' - surplus sheets left over because printers almost always deliver slightly different quantities of each of the sheets that make up a book.
Among other things we found sheets of the 1997 parallel Seven Pillars, including most of an abandoned printing mistakenly imposed in 32-page sections. There were also some sections, though not all, of the final printing, correctly imposed in 8-page sections.
Other finds included the original camera-ready typesetting for the parallel texts, and some off-cuts of the 80g.s.m. Supreme Bookwove paper on which the edition was printed. The mill where it was made has long-since closed and today the paper is unobtainable.
Although it would be necessary to replace missing pages, we had the materials to do it. It would be possible to issue a further 50 sets of the parallel text. We decided to do so, printing a new title page to prevent any confusion with the 1997 edition.
Even with these additional copies, the Castle Hill Press parallel text remains one of the rarest and most interesting of all printings of Seven Pillars.
50 numbered copies, Castle Hill Press, 2008
Two-volumes, 28.5cm, trimmed page size 282 x 200mm, typeset in double column Times New Roman.
- Volume I (pp. 1-559): Introduction and Books I-V
- Volume II (pp. 560-1064): Books VI-X
Thirty-seven sets, numbered 1-37, incorporate sheets from the abandoned 1997 first printing in 32-page sections. Bound in quarter brown goatskin with brown cloth sides. Head and tail bands, plain endpapers. Issued in cloth-covered slip case.
Thirteen sets not for sale, numbered i-xiii, incorporate surplus sheets from the corrected 1997 printing in 8-page sections.
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Some opinions of our work:
Considering the tastefulness of the physical design of the Castle Hill volumes - which undoubtedly would have pleased Lawrence, who was a devotee of William Morris's idea of 'the book beautiful' - and the spare tastefulness of their editing, and especially their making available important but otherwise hard-to-access texts, this is a project for which Lawrence scholars will indeed be grateful now and in years to come. [Professor Stephen E. Tabachnick, reviewing Castle Hill Press books in English Literature in Transition]
. . . I couldn't be more pleased. The attention to detail, and conception of this edition, are wonderful . . .
I cannot praise too highly the quality of the production, with exceptional clarity and beauty of print, the erudition of editing, and the excellent on-line service. Important correspondence in beautiful books - the perfect combination.
. . .Excellence in research and editing, and magnificently produced books in superb bindings. Last but not least, efficient and friendly service, with books posted in rock solid packaging.
. . . These books are a pleasure to own and read . . .. . . a quite invaluable job in publishing (very beautifully . . .) many of the writings of TEL which hitherto have been available only in manuscript form in museums, libraries or private collections, or in out-of-print books which are very hard to obtain.
An excellent set of publications that are beautifully edited and produced. A wonderful addition to my library and to any library.