in the Works of
Private Shaw and Public Shaw:
A dual portrait of Lawrence of Arabia and George Bernard Shaw
New York: George Braziller, 1963
....At Christmas leave-time he [T.E. Lawrence] had the hut to himself, and divided his time between reading T.S. Elliot, correcting proofs, and sampling a holiday assortment of delicacies delivered by Gunter´s from an anonymous donor whom he felt sure was Charlotte. The day after Christmas he wrote to ask her if the word "Gunter" awakened any feelings of guilt in her.
Christmas was a horror to Lawrence, who suffered several days of drunken companions. Reminding himself of the holiday seasons he survived in the Tank Corps, he counted his blessings....he had accumulated by Christmas a personal free lending library in India (mainly through gifts from the Shaws and Edward Garnett) of nearly two hundred books....
Late for Christmas, but in time for the New Year, came the inevitable anonymous parcels from Fortnum and Mason.
Christmas week T.E. spent on duty at Cattewater, ostensibly to release family men -- also, no doubt, to prevent his enjoying himself too much. While G.B.S. was spending the winter months on preparing the Collected Edition for the printer, [Lawrence] worked through the holiday period and beyond on The Odyssey, reaching the surfeit point at his third revision of Book XI. With G.B.S. busy, Charlotte looked over [Lawrence´s] manuscript, noted places that seemed to her amateur eye to need mending, and mailed the copy back, or waited for his next visit to discuss it.
By Christmas the Bumpus affair was settled, and the holiday season was marked by the usual chocolates from Charlotte, sent to the Ozone Hotel, Lawrence´s official R.A.F. quarters in Bridlington....Off on Boanerges [Lawrence's motorcycle], he spent part of his leave visiting old haunts in London and Southampton, and managed to fit in an overnight stay in his cottage....
He spent part of his holiday quietly reading and writing
Christmas letters to his friends -- all but Lady Astor, with whom he had
developed an annual custom of sending her a reply-paid telegram of "Merry
Xmas" -- to which she answered "Same to you"....
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