Gardiner ↔︎ Dawson correspondence

Gardiner and Dawson exchange letters.

Egyptologists are human beings, like all of us. Sometimes we tend to forget that.

They eat, drink, go to-the-loo and they have to pay income taxes.In order to do so, they have to track their income and expenses, of course.

The following letter is the result of some correspondence between Alan Gardiner and Warren R. Dawson, regarding the revenues of the “Who Was Who In Egyptology”, 1951 edition. Written by Dawson, with the help of Gardiner.

A very down-to-earth account by two people, well known in Egyptology.

The correspondence starts with a Message from Gardiner’s financial Advisor

“There is an outstanding point in connection with your return of income for the year to 5th April, 1955.

I wrote the Egypt Exploration Society and they say that 19 copies of “Who Was Who In Egyptology, were sold or invoiced to 31st March, 1954.

Following this letter I again wrote to them asking whether they could give me the amounts credited to you in respect of these sales and they have replied saying that they cannot do this as their agreement is with a Mr. Warren R. Dawson to whom we should write for the information.

May I have this information either from Mr. Dawson of from yourself.

Letter from Dawson to Gardiner



16th July 1955

Dear Gardiner,
Up to June 1953, I received Three payments each of £37.10.0 from the E.E.S. which I passed on to you. With the third of these payments, in June 1953, I sent also a cheque of my own for £27.10.0, but I have no copy of the letter in which I explained this extra payment, and I cannot now remember how I arrived at it.

Possibly you may have filed my letter & if so, please refer to it, I have your reply to it dated 30th June 1953, and as it is hand-written and not typed, you probably kept no copy of it, so I enclose a copy now, As it was your expressed wish that I should for the future retain for myself any further payments made to me by the E.E.S., I have carried out your intention. Since that time, I have received several small payments, but I have not kept a record of them, though I could easily get a statement from Miss Keeves if necessary.

The point is therefore, in reply to your Accountant’s question, that in accordance with your own wishes, your interest in the sales ceased as at 20th June 1953, so that they will not have to be taken into account for income-tax purposes for the years 1954 and 1955. I hope this makes the position quite clear.

I am very sorry that you are unable to report any improvement in Lady G’s condition and I sympathise deeply with your distress. I am glad to say that my wife is somewhat better, She is able to walk again & suffers less than when I last wrote. But as the acute attacks are always liable to return, I am taking her next week to see a specialist who has a new treatment by injections, if he thinks her case one to which it can be properly applied.

With kindest regards,
Yours sincerely
Warren R Dawson

(Part of a) Letter from Gardiner to Dawson.


Court Place


Dear Dawson,
It is extremely good of you to have added a cheque of your own to that received from the E.E.S. I had no wish for any such thing, and I should really be happiest if, when and in case you receive further returns from the society, you would retain them for yourself. It was a privilege to be allowed to help with so valuable a publication, which I frequently consult with profit.
Do please fall in with my strong desire not to receive any further returns from sales.

[The rest of the letter deals with personal matters]

Thanks to Wim Leeuwis for sending me the original letter. Thanks also to Lee Young for transcribing the letter for us.