‘A Shy Bird’ by Charles Eilers, published by The Fleece Press
This is a stunning production with the full story and details about the elusive US copyright edition of Seven Pillars of Wisdom. It is illustrated throughout with the fascinating characters involved in the production and images of the various bindings. A book not to be missed by the bibliophile and T E collector. Some seven Fleece Press books on T.E. Lawrence have been published since 1985, here is an eighth . For bibliophiles and collectors his interest in fine printing and the story of the making of his magnum opus, Seven Pillars of Wisdom are fascinating. In the run-up to publication of Seven Pillars in Britain in 1926, Lawrence felt the urgent need to avoid being pirated in the USA and so arranged to have the text printed there in an edition of just 22 copies, in order to register the book for copyright protection. Two books were sent to the Library of Congress and copies nominally offered on the publisher’s list – to deter purchase- at just $20,000 each. In fact 28 were made – none of them sold – and this new book tells the complex and intriguing story of the publication, whilst also throwing light on the individuals involved and tracing the history of each surviving copy. This is an impressive, well written and beautifully researched volume by Charles Eilers, his work complemented by 42 illustrations. 180pp. Limited to just 250 copies (225 for sale). at £150. Bound in quarter cloth and paper over boards replicating the original US binding of the American copy. Twenty copies (only 17 for sale) were in a solander box include an original page from the 1925 Second State Prospectus for the English subscribers’ edition (this edition has now all sold out).