T.E. Lawrence on fine press editions of the classics….

FPBA member Jeremy Wilson (Castle Hill Press) offers this quote from T.E. Lawrence on reprinting the classics in fine press editions:

‘As for books to print beautifully [Lawrence writes] I should like to say “No classics”. Make your jewels a decoration to hang on the authors you like.’ — letter from T.E. Lawrence to Frere Reeves of Heinemann (24 June 1929).

‘BUT guess what T.E.L. was doing at the time: translating Homer’s Odyssey for a fine-press edition designed by Bruce Rogers. Not just any edition, as it turned out when it eventually appeared in 1932.

So it seems he distinguished between the things he thought worth doing and the things he was handsomely paid to do.


— Paul Razzell




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