In this charming letter SIGNED as "T. E. Shaw," Lawrence writes to Charlotte's Shaw's doctor , William Cooper, who took care of Lawrence's broken wrist. Author and playwright George Bernard Shaw and his wife, Charlotte Payne-Townshend Shaw, were friends. n this upbeat letter with a literary reference to American author Henry James, Lawrence gives an update on Charlotte as well as his own injured wrist. At the end, he asks for the cost of the bill which he supposes Charlotte would have paid had she not become indisposed from an accident.
In part, "and then the fun began. Dear Cooper was to presume on a very short acquaintance. Dear Dr. Cooper lined you up with a class you probably detest. Dear Mr. Cooper is stiff. So let's begin again. I was going to write just after the occasion; only I was detracted suddenly by the accident to Mrs. Shaw...she is not so long or quite recovered from a scarlet-fever incident at Buxton; (Henry James was the putative parent of that last sentence)...she bumps down in Hanover square and will be tied by the leg for more weeks...I had wanted to say thank you for examining me that morning. Mrs. Shaw and I thought of it on the spur of the moment...What you had said was most assuring; as it is not likely to get worse I snap my fingers at it. Half an arm is plenty for one's old age, and I have still and arm and a half. Nevertheless, if fate does bring me to London (No wise man would prophesy anything concerning me) I will attend on you...It has been less painful...but do not flatter your art - it is faith and happiness acting through favorable judgment. Try telling a patient that she or he will get worse, and see it happen! Before Mrs. Shaw I could not discuss finance; she would have felt herself liable for bringing me...My scandalous life of enjoyment is not to be justified, but palliated perhaps, by paying for itself...let me know how much I am in your debt *..." The asterisk is actually the "@" symbol and points to another below the signature with the following explanation. "Financially, I mean. Morally I am the assessor, and delighted." With envelope docketed by William Cooper explaining the letter. The letter is matted with envelope and printed photograph of Lawrence dressed in desert clothing as Lawrence of Arabia.
Dr. Cooper explains that Lawrence, "seeing two old people in difficulty with a car which wouldn't start, he offered to help them but the handle [hand crank] of the car on a backfire hit him in the wrist & broke it." The incident occurred in March, 1927, near Cranwell, but since Lawrence did not take the needed time to allow the wrist to heal, it never fully recovered. The letter shows Lawrence’s wit and good humor about his own accident as well as his concern for his good friend, Charlotte Shaw.