16 JULY 1977, Page 17

Sex and creativity •

Sir: Your reviewer Francis King (9 July) regrets that Desmond Stewart's biography refers to details of T. E. Lawrence's sexual life which could better be 'consigned to oblivion'. On the very next page Christopher Booker rebukes Bamber Gascoigne for having a News of the World interest in sex in his book on the Christian church throughout the ages.

This is an odd form of prudery. The connection between sexual impulses (and their expression or repression) and creative activity in the arts and religion is too well established for anyone to be able to ignore evidence of this major dimension either in a biography or in the history of an institution. Francis King's reference to the display of Lafcadio Hearn's underwear is inappropriate, for these garments tell us nothing of the man's thought and achievements compared with evidence on what sex meant to him and how he coped with it.

(Dr) J. Stanford Aston 9 Kersley Street, London SW11