The Mint (book)

The Mint (Book)

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The Mint (book)

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The Mint is a book written by T. E. Lawrence, ‘Lawrence of Arabia’.

It concerns the period following the First World War when Lawrence decided to disappear from public view. He enlisted in the Royal Air Force under an assumed name and became Aircraftman Ross. The book is a closely-observed autobiographical account of his experiences in the RAF. The book covers his initial training at RAF Uxbridge in 1922 and a part of his service at RAF Cranwell, 1925–26.

Lawrence stated that the book should not be published until after his death. When The Mint was finally published in 1955 there were two editions, the expurgated edition and a limited edition containing the full uncensored text. The delay in publication and sensitivity surrounding the full text concerned its barrack-room language (i.e., lots of "four-letter words") and frank references to bodily functions, which some people might still find offensive. However, social mores have changed since the 1950s with the result that the original text is now widely available.

Irving Howe described the work in The Hudson Review as a "severely chiselled picture of barrack life: Joycean in style, sometimes brilliant in evocation, structured as a series of set-pieces, showing a decided advance in control over The Seven Pillars of Wisdom but too markedly an exercise, a self-conscious effort to write."

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