The Life of T.E. Lawrence

The music room at T.E. Lawrence’s cottage, Clouds Hill, after his death. Taken in late 1935.

E.M. Forster remembered his visits to the room in March, April, and June 1924, “We lived upstairs, and the sitting-room there looks now [1938] much as it did then, though the gramophone and the books have gone, and the fender with its bent ironwork has been remodeled. It was, and it is, a brownish room—wooden beams and ceiling, leather-covered settee…

Here we talked, played Beethoven’s symphonies, ate and drank. We drank water only or tea — no alcohol ever entered Clouds Hill, …And we ate — this sounds less romantic — out of tins. T.E. always laid in a stock of tinned dainties for his guests. There were no fixed hours for meals and no one sat down. If you felt hungry, you opened a tin and drifted about with it…

I don’t know whether I’m at all conveying in these trivial remarks the atmosphere of the place — the happy casualness of it, and the feeling that no one particularly owned it. T.E. had the power of distributing the sense of possession among all the friends who came there…To think of Clouds Hill as T.E.’s home is to get the wrong idea of it. It wasn’t his home, it was rather his pied-a-terre, the place where his feet touched the earth for a moment and found rest… ”

Source: The Last Days of T.E. Lawrence: A Leaf in the Wind by Paul Marriott and Yvonne Argent

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    "The place his feet touched the earth for a moment and found rest."