I may have mentioned in this blog before that my favorite film of all time is Lawrence of Arabia and because of loving the film I've read books by and about the real man, T.E. Lawrence.
If I had a spare $100,000 I would head to London on March 27 to bid on a collection of books by T.E. Lawrence, including his rare work The Mint.
Bonhams Fine Books, Maps and Manuscripts will auction The Mint and also a rare edition of Lawrence's book Seven Pillars of Wisdom in March. Each publication will be sold separately.
The real T.E. Lawrence
Not the edition on sale by Bonhams
I had not heard of The Mint before reading about this auction and I am intrigued by the description of the book. Having read a couple of biographies of T.E. Lawrence I am familiar with this strange period in his life. For some reason after having achieved world wide fame as Lawrence of Arabia and achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army, he enlisted in the RAF under an assumed name in the early 20's. The Mint is Lawrence's account of his life in the RAF (he was discovered but later allowed to enlist under his own name). Apparently the RAF requested that he not publish the book until 1950, but Lawrence died in a motorcycle accident in 1935.
Lawrence only completed a draft of this work and it was edited by his brother after his death. The Mint was published in 1936 first in the US at a price of $500,000 (and that was real money in those days), and later in a limited edition of 50 in the UK. The copy on sale next month was owned by the brother, Professor Arnold Lawrence, who gave it to the lawyer, Edward Eliot, on loan. The edition has the signature of Lawrence's brother and lawyer.
To read more about the sale you can go to Bonhams website at the link below:
In the meantime, while I wait to win the lottery before March 27, I will watch David Lean's great film again with Peter O'Toole, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, and literally a cast of thousands.