The History Thread By Its Friends

No time for a big write-up so I wanted to feature this wonderful bit of T.E. Lawrence arcana that I just received in the mail: a 1963 reprint of T.E. Lawrence By His Friends. This is a festschrift compiled by Lawrence’s brother Arnold in 1937, two years after his death, and featuring tributes by a wide variety of notable friends, colleagues and acquaintances, the most prolific of them listed on the cover. The essays provide an interesting, if usually somewhat rose-tinted look at the many sides of Lawrence’s life and personality (a few, like his prewar colleague Leonard Wooley, are a bit more critical). A.W. Lawrence reissued an abridged version of the book in 1954, as part of his campaign to head-off Richard Aldington’s Biographical Enquiry with its scandalous revelations about Lawrence’s illegitimacy, sexual orientation and claims of his dishonesty. This reprint from 1963, soon after the movie’s release, features pop art-inspired cover art by famous American graphic designer Rudolph de Harak.