16 November 1915

“I have not written to you for ever so long … I think really because there was nothing I had to say. It is partly being so busy here, that one’s thoughts are all on the jobs one is doing, and one grudges doing anything else, and has no other interests, and partly because I’m rather low
because first one and now another of my brothers has been killed. Of course, I’ve been away a lot from them, & so it doesn’t come on one like
a shock at all … but I rather dread Oxford and what it may be like if one comes back. Also they were both younger than I am, and it doesn’t seem right, somehow, that I should go on living peacefully in Cairo.

“However I haven’t any right to treat you to all this.

“Salute Bell from me: tell him it is what I have to do to Lieut-Commdr. Hogarth when I first meet him in the morning. It’s very good to have him out here, stirring one up to all sorts of other ideas.

“I wish one might have an end sometime.”

T. E. Lawrence to E. T. Leeds (Lawrence of Arabia, The Selected Letters, edited by Malcolm Brown, published by Little Books, 2005).

Lawrence’s candid letter to his old friend at the Ashmolean Museum reveals something of his state of mind following the death of his brothers Frank and Will.