London: Jonathan Cape, 1935. First trade edition. Finely bound by Bayntun-Riviere in full crushed brown morocco. Raised bands on the spine with gilt titles and decorative ornaments, all edges gilt. Marbled end papers. Illustrated with a black and white portrait frontispiece, 53 additional plates and 4 maps by Eric Kennington, William Rothenstein, Augustus John, William Roberts and others. An exceptionally pleasing copy of this important work.
A remarkably accurate military history interwoven with heroic adventure and spiritual insight, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom was itself an epic in its creation given Lawrence's multiple manuscripts and drafts that slowed the final release for almost a decade. During the process, Lawrence remained grateful to his subscribers and guaranteed that there would be no library or review copies in his lifetime; and he worked to ensure that each copy in the subscribers' edition would be unique. The release of the trade edition in 1935 made his epic narrative accessible to the public and cemented his reputation in the modern imagination. (Item #5115)