D. H. Lawrence
|D. H. Lawrence|
|Born||David Herbert Lawrence
11 September 1885
Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, England
|Died||2 March 1930
|Alma mater||University of Nottingham|
David Herbert Lawrence (11 September 1885 – 2 March 1930) was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter who published as D. H. Lawrence. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation. In them, Lawrence confronts issues relating to emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, and instinct.
Lawrence's opinions earned him many enemies and he endured official persecution, censorship, and misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in a voluntary exile which he called his "savage pilgrimage." At the time of his death, his public reputation was that of a pornographer who had wasted his considerable talents. E. M. Forster, in an obituary notice, challenged this widely held view, describing him as, "The greatest imaginative novelist of our generation." Later, the influential Cambridge critic F. R. Leavis championed both his artistic integrity and his moral seriousness, placing much of Lawrence's fiction within the canonical "great tradition" of the English novel. Lawrence is now valued by many as a visionary thinker and significant representative of modernism in English literature.
- 1 Life and career
- 2 Views
- 3 Written works
- 4 Lady Chatterley trial
- 5 Posthumous reputation
- 6 Painting
- 7 Selected depictions of Lawrence's life
- 8 List of works
- 9 Works about Lawrence
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Life and career
The fourth child of Arthur John Lawrence, a barely literate miner, and Lydia (née Beardsall), a former pupil teacher who, owing to her family's financial difficulties, had to do manual work in a lace factory, Lawrence spent his formative years in the coal mining town of Eastwood, Nottinghamshire. The house in which he was born, in Eastwood, 8a Victoria Street, is now the D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum. His working-class background and the tensions between his parents provided the raw material for a number of his early works. Lawrence would return to this locality and often wrote about nearby Underwood, calling it; "the country of my heart," as a setting for much of his fiction.
The young Lawrence attended Beauvale Board School (now renamed Greasley Beauvale D. H. Lawrence Primary School in his honour) from 1891 until 1898, becoming the first local pupil to win a County Council scholarship to Nottingham High School in nearby Nottingham. He left in 1901, working for three months as a junior clerk at Haywood's surgical appliances factory, but a severe bout of pneumonia, reportedly the result of being accosted by a group of factory girls (as detailed by school friend, George Neville), ended this career. Whilst convalescing he often visited Hagg's Farm, the home of the Chambers family, and began a friendship with Jessie Chambers. An important aspect of this relationship with Chambers and other adolescent acquaintances was a shared love of books, an interest that lasted throughout Lawrence's life. In the years 1902 to 1906 Lawrence served as a pupil teacher at the British School, Eastwood. He went on to become a full-time student and received a teaching certificate from University College, Nottingham, in 1908. During these early years he was working on his first poems, some short stories, and a draft of a novel, Laetitia, that was eventually to become The White Peacock. At the end of 1907 he won a short story competition in the Nottingham Guardian, the first time that he had gained any wider recognition for his literary talents.
In the autumn of 1908 the newly qualified Lawrence left his childhood home for London. While teaching in Davidson Road School, Croydon, he continued writing. Some of the early poetry, submitted by Jessie Chambers, came to the attention of Ford Madox Ford, then known as Ford Hermann Hueffer and editor of the influential The English Review. Hueffer then commissioned the story Odour of Chrysanthemums which, when published in that magazine, encouraged Heinemann, a London publisher, to ask Lawrence for more work. His career as a professional author now began in earnest, although he taught for a further year. Shortly after the final proofs of his first published novel The White Peacock appeared in 1910, Lawrence's mother died. She had been ill with cancer. The young man was devastated and he was to describe the next few months as his "sick year." It is clear that Lawrence had an extremely close relationship with his mother and his grief following her death became a major turning point in his life, just as the death of Mrs. Morel forms a major turning point in his autobiographical novel Sons and Lovers, a work that draws upon much of the writer's provincial upbringing.
In 1911 Lawrence was introduced to Edward Garnett, a publisher's reader, who acted as a mentor, provided further encouragement, and became a valued friend, as Garnett's son David was also. Throughout these months the young author revised Paul Morel, the first draft of what became Sons and Lovers. In addition, a teaching colleague, Helen Corke, gave him access to her intimate diaries about an unhappy love affair, which formed the basis of The Trespasser, his second novel. In November 1911, he came down with a pneumonia again; once he recovered, Lawrence decided to abandon teaching in order to become a full-time author. He also broke off an engagement to Louie Burrows, an old friend from his days in Nottingham and Eastwood.
In March 1912 Lawrence met Frieda Weekley (née von Richthofen), with whom he was to share the rest of his life. She was six years older than her new lover, married to Lawrence's former modern languages professor from University College, Nottingham, Ernest Weekley, and with three young children. She eloped with Lawrence to her parents' home in Metz, a garrison town then in Germany near the disputed border with France. Their stay here included Lawrence's first encounter with tensions between Germany and France, when he was arrested and accused of being a British spy, before being released following an intervention from Frieda Weekley's father. After this encounter Lawrence left for a small hamlet to the south of Munich, where he was joined by Weekley for their "honeymoon", later memorialised in the series of love poems titled Look! We Have Come Through (1917). 1912 also saw the first of Lawrence's so-called "mining plays", The Daughter-in-Law, written in Nottingham dialect. The play was never to be performed, or even published, in Lawrence's lifetime.
From Germany they walked southwards across the Alps to Italy, a journey that was recorded in the first of his travel books, a collection of linked essays titled Twilight in Italy and the unfinished novel, Mr Noon. During his stay in Italy, Lawrence completed the final version of Sons and Lovers that, when published in 1913, was acknowledged to represent a vivid portrait of the realities of working class provincial life. Lawrence though, had become so tired of the work that he allowed Edward Garnett to cut about a hundred pages from the text.
Lawrence and Frieda returned to Britain in 1913 for a short visit. At this time, he now encountered and befriended critic John Middleton Murry and New Zealand-born short story writer Katherine Mansfield. Lawrence was able to meet with Welsh tramp poet W. H. Davies whose work, much of which was inspired by nature, he much admired. Davies had begun to collect autographs and was particularly keen to obtain Lawrence's. Georgian poetry publisher Edward Marsh was able to secure an autograph (probably as part of a signed poem) and also invited Lawrence and Frieda to meet Davies in London on 28 July, under his supervision. Lawrence was immediately captivated by the poet and later invited Davies to join Frieda and him in Germany. Despite his early enthusiasm for Davies' work, however, Lawrence's opinion changed after reading Foliage and he commented after reading Nature Poems in Italy that they seemed ".. so thin, one can hardly feel them".
Lawrence and Weekley soon went back to Italy, staying in a cottage in Fiascherino on the Gulf of Spezia. Here he started writing the first draft of a work of fiction that was to be transformed into two of his better-known novels, The Rainbow and Women in Love. While writing Women in Love in Cornwall during 1916–17, Lawrence developed a strong and possibly romantic relationship with a Cornish farmer named William Henry Hocking. Although it is not absolutely clear if their relationship was sexual, Lawrence's wife, Frieda Weekley, said she believed it was. Lawrence's fascination with themes of homosexuality could also be related to his own sexual orientation. This theme is also overtly manifested in Women in Love. Indeed, in a letter written during 1913, he writes, "I should like to know why nearly every man that approaches greatness tends to homosexuality, whether he admits it or not..." He is also quoted as saying, "I believe the nearest I've come to perfect love was with a young coal-miner when I was about 16."
Eventually, Weekley obtained her divorce. The couple returned to Britain shortly before the outbreak of World War I and were married on 13 July 1914. In this time, Lawrence worked with London intellectuals and writers such as Dora Marsden and the people involved with The Egoist (T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and others). The Egoist, an important Modernist literary magazine, published some of his work. He was also reading and adapting Marinetti's Futurist Manifesto. He also met at this time the young Jewish artist Mark Gertler, and they became for a time good friends; Lawrence would describe Gertler's 1916 anti-war painting, 'The Merry-Go-Round' as 'the best modern picture I have seen: I think it is great and true.' Gertler would inspire the character Loerke (a sculptor) in Women in Love. Weekley's German parentage and Lawrence's open contempt for militarism meant that they were viewed with suspicion in wartime Britain and lived in near destitution. The Rainbow (1915) was suppressed after an investigation into its alleged obscenity in 1915. Later, they were accused of spying and signalling to German submarines off the coast of Cornwall where they lived at Zennor. During this period he finished Women in Love. In it Lawrence explores the destructive features of contemporary civilization through the evolving relationships of four major characters as they reflect upon the value of the arts, politics, economics, sexual experience, friendship and marriage. This book is a bleak, bitter vision of humanity and proved impossible to publish in wartime conditions. Not published until 1920, it is now widely recognised as an English novel of great dramatic force and intellectual subtlety.
In late 1917, after constant harassment by the armed forces authorities, Lawrence was forced to leave Cornwall at three days' notice under the terms of the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA). This persecution was later described in an autobiographical chapter of his Australian novel Kangaroo, published in 1923. He spent some months in early 1918 in the small, rural village of Hermitage near Newbury, Berkshire. He then lived for just under a year (mid-1918 to early 1919) at Mountain Cottage, Middleton-by-Wirksworth, Derbyshire, where he wrote one of his most poetic short stories, The White Peacock. Until 1919 he was compelled by poverty to shift from address to address and barely survived a severe attack of influenza.
After the traumatic experience of the war years, Lawrence began what he termed his 'savage pilgrimage', a time of voluntary exile. He escaped from Britain at the earliest practical opportunity, to return only twice for brief visits, and with his wife spent the remainder of his life travelling. This wanderlust took him to Australia, Italy, Ceylon (now called Sri Lanka), the United States, Mexico and the South of France.
Lawrence abandoned Britain in November 1919 and headed south, first to the Abruzzi region in central Italy and then onwards to Capri and the Fontana Vecchia in Taormina, Sicily. From Sicily he made brief excursions to Sardinia, Monte Cassino, Malta, Northern Italy, Austria and Southern Germany. Many of these places appeared in his writings. New novels included The Lost Girl (for which he won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction), Aaron's Rod and the fragment titled Mr Noon (the first part of which was published in the Phoenix anthology of his works, and the entirety in 1984). He experimented with shorter novels or novellas, such as The Captain's Doll, The Fox and The Ladybird. In addition, some of his short stories were issued in the collection England, My England and Other Stories. During these years he produced a number of poems about the natural world in Birds, Beasts and Flowers. Lawrence is widely recognised as one of the finest travel writers in the English language. Sea and Sardinia, a book that describes a brief journey undertaken in January 1921, is a recreation of the life of the inhabitants of Sardinia. Less well known is the brilliant memoir of Maurice Magnus, Memoirs of the Foreign Legion, in which Lawrence recalls his visit to the monastery of Monte Cassino. Other non-fiction books include two responses to Freudian psychoanalysis and Movements in European History, a school textbook that was published under a pseudonym, a reflection of his blighted reputation in Britain.
Later life and career
In late February 1922 the Lawrences left Europe behind with the intention of migrating to the United States. They sailed in an easterly direction, first to Ceylon and then on to Australia. A short residence in Darlington, Western Australia, which included an encounter with local writer Mollie Skinner, was followed by a brief stop in the small coastal town of Thirroul, New South Wales, during which Lawrence completed Kangaroo, a novel about local fringe politics that also revealed a lot about his wartime experiences in Cornwall.
The Lawrences finally arrived in the US in September 1922. Here they encountered Mabel Dodge Luhan, a prominent socialite, and considered establishing a utopian community on what was then known as the 160-acre (0.65 km2) Kiowa Ranch near Taos, New Mexico. After arriving in Lamy, New Mexico, via train, they acquired the property, now called the D. H. Lawrence Ranch, in 1924 in exchange for the manuscript of Sons and Lovers. He stayed in New Mexico for two years, with extended visits to Lake Chapala and Oaxaca in Mexico. While Lawrence was in New Mexico, he was visited by Aldous Huxley.
While in the U.S., Lawrence rewrote and published Studies in Classic American Literature, a set of critical essays begun in 1917, and later described by Edmund Wilson as "one of the few first-rate books that have ever been written on the subject." These interpretations, with their insights into symbolism, New England Transcendentalism and the puritan sensibility, were a significant factor in the revival of the reputation of Herman Melville during the early 1920s. In addition, Lawrence completed a number of new fictional works, including The Boy in the Bush, The Plumed Serpent, St Mawr, The Woman who Rode Away, The Princess and assorted short stories. He also found time to produce some more travel writing, such as the collection of linked excursions that became Mornings in Mexico.
A brief voyage to England at the end of 1923 was a failure and he soon returned to Taos, convinced that his life as an author now lay in America. However, in March 1925 he suffered a near fatal attack of malaria and tuberculosis while on a third visit to Mexico. Although he eventually recovered, the diagnosis of his condition obliged him to return once again to Europe. He was dangerously ill and the poor health limited his ability to travel for the remainder of his life. The Lawrences made their home in a villa in Northern Italy, living near Florence while he wrote The Virgin and the Gipsy and the various versions of Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928). The latter book, his last major novel, was initially published in private editions in Florence and Paris and reinforced his notoriety. Lawrence responded robustly to those who claimed to be offended, penning a large number of satirical poems, published under the title of "Pansies" and "Nettles", as well as a tract on Pornography and Obscenity.
The return to Italy allowed Lawrence to renew old friendships; during these years he was particularly close to Aldous Huxley, who was to edit the first collection of Lawrence's letters after his death, along with a memoir. With artist Earl Brewster, Lawrence visited a number of local archaeological sites in April 1927. The resulting essays describing these visits to old tombs were written up and collected together as Sketches of Etruscan Places, a book that contrasts the lively past with Benito Mussolini's fascism. Lawrence continued to produce fiction, including short stories and The Escaped Cock (also published as The Man Who Died), an unorthodox reworking of the story of Jesus Christ's Resurrection. During these final years Lawrence renewed a serious interest in oil painting. Official harassment persisted and an exhibition of some of these pictures at the Warren Gallery in London was raided by the police in mid 1929 and a number of works were confiscated. Nine of the Lawrence oils have been on permanent display in the La Fonda Hotel in Taos since shortly after Frieda's death. They hang in a small gallery just off the main lobby and are available for viewing.
Lawrence continued to write despite his failing health. In his last months he wrote numerous poems, reviews and essays, as well as a robust defence of his last novel against those who sought to suppress it. His last significant work was a reflection on the Book of Revelation, Apocalypse. After being discharged from a sanatorium, he died at the Villa Robermond in Vence, France, from complications of tuberculosis. Frieda Weekley commissioned an elaborate headstone for his grave bearing a mosaic of his adopted emblem of the phoenix. After Lawrence's death, Frieda married Angelo Ravagli. She returned to live on the ranch in Taos and later her third husband brought Lawrence's ashes to be interred there in a small chapel set amid the mountains of New Mexico. The headstone has recently been donated to D. H. Lawrence Heritage and is now on display in the D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum in his home town of Eastwood, Nottinghamshire.
Critic and admirer Terry Eagleton situates Lawrence on the radical right wing, as hostile to democracy, liberalism, socialism, and egalitarianism, though never actually embracing fascism. Some of Lawrence's beliefs can be seen in his letters to Bertrand Russell around the year 1915, where he voices his opposition to enfranchising the working class, his hostility to the burgeoning labour movements, and disparages the French Revolution, referring to "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity" as the "three-fanged serpent." Rather than a republic, Lawrence called for an absolute Dictator and equivalent Dictatrix to lord over the lower peoples.
Lawrence continued throughout his life to develop his highly personal philosophy. His unpublished introduction to Sons and Lovers established the duality central to much of his fiction. This is done with reference to the Holy Trinity. As his philosophy develops, Lawrence moves away from more direct Christian analogies and instead touches upon Mysticism, Buddhism, and Pagan theologies.
Lawrence's opinion of the masses is detailed by Professor John Carey in The Intellectuals and the Masses (1992). He quotes a 1908 letter from Lawrence to Blanche Jennings:
If I had my way, I would build a lethal chamber as big as the Crystal Palace, with a military band playing softly, and a Cinematograph working brightly; then I'd go out in the back streets and main streets and bring them in, all the sick, the halt, and the maimed; I would lead them gently, and they would smile me a weary thanks; and the band would softly bubble out the "Hallelujah Chorus".
Lawrence is perhaps best known for his novels Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, Women in Love and Lady Chatterley's Lover. Within these Lawrence explores the possibilities for life and living within an industrial setting. In particular Lawrence is concerned with the nature of relationships that can be had within such settings. Though often classed as a realist, Lawrence's use of his characters can be better understood with reference to his philosophy. His depiction of sexual activity, though shocking at the time, has its roots in this highly personal way of thinking and being. It is worth noting that Lawrence was very interested in human touch behaviour (see Haptics) and that his interest in physical intimacy has its roots in a desire to restore our emphasis on the body, and re-balance it with what he perceived to be western civilisation's slow process of over-emphasis on the mind. In his later years Lawrence developed the potentialities of the short novel form in St Mawr, The Virgin and the Gypsy and The Escaped Cock.
Lawrence's best-known short stories include The Captain's Doll, The Fox, The Ladybird, Odour of Chrysanthemums, The Princess, The Rocking-Horse Winner, St Mawr, The Virgin and the Gypsy and The Woman who Rode Away. (The Virgin and the Gypsy was published as a novella after he died.) Among his most praised collections is The Prussian Officer and Other Stories, published in 1914. His collection The Woman Who Rode Away and Other Stories, published in 1928, develops his themes of leadership that he also explored in novels such as Kangaroo, The Plumed Serpent and Fanny and Annie.
Although best known for his novels, Lawrence wrote almost 800 poems, most of them relatively short. His first poems were written in 1904 and two of his poems, Dreams Old and Dreams Nascent, were among his earliest published works in The English Review. His early works clearly place him in the school of Georgian poets, a group not only named after the reigning monarch but also to the romantic poets of the previous Georgian period whose work they were trying to emulate. What typified the entire movement, and Lawrence's poems of the time, were well-worn poetic tropes and deliberately archaic language. Many of these poems displayed what John Ruskin referred to as the pathetic fallacy, the tendency to ascribe human emotions to animals and even inanimate objects.
Just as the First World War dramatically changed the work of many of the poets who saw service in the trenches, Lawrence's own work saw a dramatic change, during his years in Cornwall. During this time, he wrote free verse influenced by Walt Whitman. He set forth his manifesto for much of his later verse in the introduction to New Poems. "We can get rid of the stereotyped movements and the old hackneyed associations of sound or sense. We can break down those artificial conduits and canals through which we do so love to force our utterance. We can break the stiff neck of habit...But we cannot positively prescribe any motion, any rhythm."
Lawrence rewrote many of his novels several times to perfect them and similarly he returned to some of his early poems when they were collected in 1928. This was in part to fictionalise them, but also to remove some of the artifice of his first works. As he put in himself: "A young man is afraid of his demon and puts his hand over the demon's mouth sometimes and speaks for him." His best known poems are probably those dealing with nature such as those in Birds Beasts and Flowers and Tortoises. Snake, one of his most frequently anthologised, displays some of his most frequent concerns; those of man's modern distance from nature and subtle hints at religious themes.
In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob tree
I came down the steps with my pitcher
And must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough before me.
Look! We have come through! is his other work from the period of the end of the war and it reveals another important element common to much of his writings; his inclination to lay himself bare in his writings. Although Lawrence could be regarded as a writer of love poems, his usually deal in the less romantic aspects of love such as sexual frustration or the sex act itself. Ezra Pound in his Literary Essays complained of Lawrence's interest in his own "disagreeable sensations" but praised him for his "low-life narrative." This is a reference to Lawrence's dialect poems akin to the Scots poems of Robert Burns, in which he reproduced the language and concerns of the people of Nottinghamshire from his youth.
Tha thought tha wanted ter be rid o' me.
'Appen tha did, an' a'.
Tha thought tha wanted ter marry an' se
If ter couldna be master an' th' woman's boss,
Tha'd need a woman different from me,
An' tha knowed it; ay, yet tha comes across
Ter say goodbye! an' a'.
(Excerpt, "The Drained Cup")
Although Lawrence's works after his Georgian period are clearly in the modernist tradition, they were often very different from those of many other modernist writers, such as Pound. His modernist works were often austere, where every word was carefully worked on. Lawrence felt all poems had to be personal sentiments and that a sense of spontaneity was vital for any work. He called one collection of poems Pansies, partly for the simple ephemeral nature of the verse but also as a pun on the French word panser, to dress or bandage a wound. "Pansies", as Lawrence himself made explicit in the introduction to New Poems, is also a pun on Blaise Pascal's Pensées. "The Noble Englishman" and "Don't Look at Me" were removed from the official edition of Pansies on the grounds of obscenity, which wounded him. Even though he lived most of the last ten years of his life abroad, his thoughts were often still on England. Published in 1930, just eleven days after his death, his last work Nettles was a series of bitter, nettling but often wry attacks on the moral climate of England.
O the stale old dogs who pretend to guard
the morals of the masses,
how smelly they make the great back-yard
wetting after everyone that passes.
(Excerpt, "The Young and Their Moral Guardians")
Two notebooks of Lawrence's unprinted verse were posthumously published as Last Poems and More Pansies. These contain two of Lawrence's most famous poems about death, Bavarian Gentians and The Ship of Death.
Lawrence's criticism of other authors often provides great insight into his own thinking and writing. Of particular note is his Study of Thomas Hardy and Other Essays and Studies in Classic American Literature. In the latter, Lawrence's responses to Whitman, Melville and Edgar Allan Poe shed particular light on the nature of Lawrence's craft.
Lady Chatterley trial
A heavily censored abridgement of Lady Chatterley's Lover was published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf in 1928. This edition was posthumously re-issued in paperback in America both by Signet Books and by Penguin Books in 1946. When the full unexpurgated edition of Lady Chatterley's Lover was published by Penguin Books in Britain in 1960, the trial of Penguin under the Obscene Publications Act of 1959 became a major public event and a test of the new obscenity law. The 1959 act (introduced by Roy Jenkins) had made it possible for publishers to escape conviction if they could show that a work was of literary merit. One of the objections was to the frequent use of the word "fuck" and its derivatives and the word "cunt".
Various academic critics and experts of diverse kinds, including E. M. Forster, Helen Gardner, Richard Hoggart, Raymond Williams and Norman St John-Stevas, were called as witnesses, and the verdict, delivered on 2 November 1960, was "not guilty". This resulted in a far greater degree of freedom for publishing explicit material in the UK. The prosecution was ridiculed for being out of touch with changing social norms when the chief prosecutor, Mervyn Griffith-Jones, asked if it were the kind of book "you would wish your wife or servants to read".
The Penguin second edition, published in 1961, contains a publisher's dedication, which reads: "For having published this book, Penguin Books were prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act, 1959 at the Old Bailey in London from 20 October to 2 November 1960. This edition is therefore dedicated to the twelve jurors, three women and nine men, who returned a verdict of 'Not Guilty' and thus made D. H. Lawrence's last novel available for the first time to the public in the United Kingdom."
The obituaries shortly after Lawrence's death were, with the notable exception of E. M. Forster, unsympathetic or hostile. However, there were those who articulated a more favourable recognition of the significance of this author's life and works. For example, his longtime friend Catherine Carswell summed up his life in a letter to the periodical Time and Tide published on 16 March 1930. In response to his critics, she claimed:
- In the face of formidable initial disadvantages and life-long delicacy, poverty that lasted for three quarters of his life and hostility that survives his death, he did nothing that he did not really want to do, and all that he most wanted to do he did. He went all over the world, he owned a ranch, he lived in the most beautiful corners of Europe, and met whom he wanted to meet and told them that they were wrong and he was right. He painted and made things, and sang, and rode. He wrote something like three dozen books, of which even the worst page dances with life that could be mistaken for no other man's, while the best are admitted, even by those who hate him, to be unsurpassed. Without vices, with most human virtues, the husband of one wife, scrupulously honest, this estimable citizen yet managed to keep free from the shackles of civilization and the cant of literary cliques. He would have laughed lightly and cursed venomously in passing at the solemn owls—each one secretly chained by the leg—who now conduct his inquest. To do his work and lead his life in spite of them took some doing, but he did it, and long after they are forgotten, sensitive and innocent people—if any are left—will turn Lawrence's pages and will know from them what sort of a rare man Lawrence was.
Aldous Huxley also defended Lawrence in his introduction to a collection of letters published in 1932. However, the most influential advocate of Lawrence's contribution to literature was the Cambridge literary critic F. R. Leavis who asserted that the author had made an important contribution to the tradition of English fiction. Leavis stressed that The Rainbow, Women in Love, and the short stories and tales were major works of art. Later, the Lady Chatterley Trial of 1960, and subsequent publication of the book, ensured Lawrence's popularity (and notoriety) with a wider public.
Lawrence held seemingly contradictory views of feminism. The evidence of his written works indicates an overwhelming commitment to representing women as strong, independent and complex; he produced major works in which young, self-directing female characters were central. However, Harrison drew attention to the vein of sadism that runs through Lawrence's writing, and a number of feminist critics, notably Kate Millett, have criticised, indeed ridiculed Lawrence's sexual politics, Millett claiming that he uses his female characters as mouthpieces to promote his creed of male supremacy. This damaged his reputation in some quarters, although Norman Mailer came to Lawrence's defence in The Prisoner of Sex in 1971. Yet Lawrence continues to find an audience, and the ongoing publication of a new scholarly edition of his letters and writings has demonstrated the range of his achievement.
D. H. Lawrence had a lifelong interest in painting, which became one of his main forms of expression in his last years. His paintings were exhibited at the Warren Gallery in London's Mayfair in 1929. The exhibition was extremely controversial, with many of the 13,000 people visiting mainly to gawk. The Daily Express claimed "Fight with an Amazon represents a hideous, bearded man holding a fair-haired woman in his lascivious grip while wolves with dripping jaws look on expectantly, [this] is frankly indecent", but several artists and art experts praised the paintings. Gwen John, reviewing the exhibition in Everyman, spoke of Lawrence's "stupendous gift of self-expression" and singled out The Finding of Moses, Red Willow Trees and Boccaccio Story as "pictures of real beauty and great vitality". Others singled out Contadini for special praise. After a complaint from a member of the public, the police seized thirteen of the twenty-five paintings on view (including Boccaccio Story and Contadini). Despite declarations of support from many writers, artists and members of parliament, Lawrence was able to recover his paintings only by undertaking never to exhibit them in England again. The largest collection of the paintings is now at La Fonda de Taos hotel in Taos, New Mexico. Several, including Boccaccio Story and Resurrection are at the Humanities Research Centre of the University of Texas at Austin.
Selected depictions of Lawrence's life
- Priest of Love: a 1981 film based on the non-fiction biography of Lawrence of the same name. It starred Ian McKellen as Lawrence. The film is mostly focused on Lawrence's stay in Taos, New Mexico, although the source biography covers most of his life.
- Coming Through: a 1985 film about Lawrence who is portrayed by Kenneth Branagh.
- Look! We Have Come Through!: a stage play based on the letters and works of Lawrence and his wife, Frieda. Scripted by James Petosa and Carole Graham Lehan. Nominated for the Helen Hayes Award, 1998.
List of works
- The White Peacock (1911)
- The Trespasser (1912)
- Sons and Lovers (1913)
- The Rainbow (1915)
- Women in Love (1920)
- The Lost Girl (1920)
- Aaron's Rod (1922)
- Kangaroo (1923)
- The Boy in the Bush (1924)
- The Plumed Serpent (1926)
- Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928)
- The Escaped Cock (1929), later re-published as The Man Who Died
- The Virgin and the Gypsy (1930)
Short stories collections
- The Prussian Officer and Other Stories (1914)
- England, My England and Other Stories (1922)
- The Horse Dealer's Daughter (1922)
- The Fox, The Captain's Doll, The Ladybird (1923)
- St Mawr and other stories (1925)
- The Woman who Rode Away and other stories (1928)
- The Rocking-Horse Winner (1926)
- The Virgin and the Gipsy and Other Stories (1930)
- Love Among the Haystacks and other stories (1930)
- Collected Stories (1994) – Everyman's Library
- The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, Volume I, September 1901 – May 1913, ed. James T. Boulton, Cambridge University Press, 1979, ISBN 0-521-22147-1
- The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, Volume II, June 1913 – October 1916, ed. George J. Zytaruk and James T. Boulton, Cambridge University Press, 1981, ISBN 0-521-23111-6
- The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, Volume III, October 1916 – June 1921, ed. James T. Boulton and Andrew Robertson, Cambridge University Press, 1984, ISBN 0-521-23112-4
- The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, Volume IV, June 1921 – March 1924 , ed. Warren Roberts, James T. Boulton and Elizabeth Mansfield, Cambridge University Press, 1987, ISBN 0-521-00695-3
- The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, Volume V, March 1924 – March 1927, ed. James T. Boulton and Lindeth Vasey, Cambridge University Press, 1989, ISBN 0-521-00696-1
- The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, Volume VI, March 1927 – November 1928 , ed. James T. Boulton and Margaret Boulton with Gerald M. Lacy, Cambridge University Press, 1991, ISBN 0-521-00698-8
- The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, Volume VII, November 1928 – February 1930, ed. Keith Sagar and James T. Boulton, Cambridge University Press, 1993, ISBN 0-521-00699-6
- The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, with index, Volume VIII, ed. James T. Boulton, Cambridge University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-521-23117-5
- The Selected Letters of D H Lawrence, Compiled and edited by James T. Boulton, Cambridge University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-521-40115-1
- Love Poems and others (1913)
- Amores (1916)
- Look! We have come through! (1917)
- New Poems (1918)
- Bay: a book of poems (1919)
- Tortoises (1921)
- Birds, Beasts and Flowers (1923)
- The Collected Poems of D H Lawrence (1928)
- Pansies (1929)
- Nettles (1930)
- Last Poems (1932)
- Fire and other poems (1940)
- The Complete Poems of D H Lawrence (1964), ed. Vivian de Sola Pinto and F. Warren Roberts
- The White Horse (1964)
- D. H. Lawrence: Selected Poems (1972), ed. Keith Sagar.
- The Daughter-in-Law (1912)
- The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd (1914)
- Touch and Go (1920)
- David (1926)
- The Fight for Barbara (1933)
- A Collier's Friday Night (1934)
- The Married Man (1940)
- The Merry-Go-Round (1941)
- The Complete Plays of D H Lawrence (1965)
- The Plays, edited by Hans-Wilhelm Schwarze and John Worthen, Cambridge University Press, 1999, ISBN 0-521-24277-0
Non-fiction books and pamphlets
- Study of Thomas Hardy and other essays (1914), edited by Bruce Steele, Cambridge University Press, 1985, ISBN 0-521-25252-0, Literary criticism and metaphysics
- Movements in European History (1921), edited by Philip Crumpton, Cambridge University Press, 1989, ISBN 0-521-26201-1, Originally published under the name of Lawrence H. Davison
- Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious and Fantasia of the Unconscious (1921/1922), edited by Bruce Steele, Cambridge University Press, 2004 ISBN 0-521-32791-1
- Studies in Classic American Literature (1923), edited by Ezra Greenspan, Lindeth Vasey and John Worthen, Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-521-55016-5
- Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine and other essays (1925), edited by Michael Herbert, Cambridge University Press, 1988, ISBN 0-521-26622-X
- A Propos of Lady Chatterley's Lover (1929) – Lawrence wrote this pamphlet to explain his novel
- Apocalypse and the writings on Revelation (1931) edited by Mara Kalnins, Cambridge University Press, 1980, ISBN 0-521-22407-1
- Phoenix: The Posthumous Papers of D. H. Lawrence (1936)
- Phoenix II: Uncollected, Unpublished and Other Prose Works by D. H. Lawrence (1968)
- Introductions and Reviews, edited by N. H. Reeve and John Worthen, Cambridge University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-521-83584-4
- Late Essays and Articles, edited by James T. Boulton, Cambridge University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-521-58431-0
- Selected Letters, Oneworld Classics, 2008. Edited by James T. Boulton. ISBN 978-1-84749-049-0
- Twilight in Italy and Other Essays (1916), edited by Paul Eggert, Cambridge University Press, 1994, ISBN 0-521-26888-5
- Sea and Sardinia (1921), edited by Mara Kalnins, Cambridge University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-521-24275-4
- Mornings in Mexico and Other Essays (1927), edited by Virginia Crosswhite Hyde, Cambridge University Press, 2009, ISBN 0-521-65292-6.
- Sketches of Etruscan Places and other Italian essays (1932), edited by Simonetta de Filippis, Cambridge University Press, 1992, ISBN 0-521-25253-9
Works translated by Lawrence
- Lev Isaakovich Shestov All Things are Possible (1920)
- Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin The Gentleman from San Francisco (1922), tr. with S. S. Koteliansky
- Giovanni Verga Mastro-Don Gesualdo (1923)
- Giovanni Verga Little Novels of Sicily (1925)
- Giovanni Verga Cavalleria Rusticana and other stories (1928)
- Antonio Francesco Grazzini The Story of Doctor Manente (1929)
Manuscripts and early drafts of published novels and other works
- Paul Morel (1911–12), edited by Helen Baron, Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-521-56009-8, an early manuscript version of Sons and Lovers
- The First Women in Love (1916–17) edited by John Worthen and Lindeth Vasey, Cambridge University Press, 1998, ISBN 0-521-37326-3
- Mr Noon, (unfinished novel) Parts I and II, edited by Lindeth Vasey, Cambridge University Press, 1984, ISBN 0-521-25251-2
- The Symbolic Meaning: The Uncollected Versions of Studies in Classic American Literature, edited by Armin Arnold, Centaur Press, 1962
- Quetzalcoatl (1925), edited by Louis L Martz, W W Norton Edition, 1998, ISBN 0-8112-1385-4, Early draft of The Plumed Serpent
- The First and Second Lady Chatterley novels, edited by Dieter Mehl and Christa Jansohn, Cambridge University Press, 1999, ISBN 0-521-47116-8.
- The Paintings of D. H. Lawrence, London: Mandrake Press, 1929.
- D. H. Lawrence's Paintings, ed. Keith Sagar, London: Chaucer Press, 2003.
- The Collected Art Works of D. H. Lawrence, ed. Tetsuji Kohno, Tokyo: Sogensha, 2004.
Works about Lawrence
- Paul Poplawski (1995) The Works of D H Lawrence: a Chronological Checklist (Nottingham, D H Lawrence Society)
- Paul Poplawski (1996) D. H. Lawrence: A Reference Companion (Westport, Conn., and London: Greenwood Press)
- P. Preston (1994) A D H Lawrence Chronology (London, Macmillan)
- W. Roberts and P. Poplawski (2001)A Bibliography of D H Lawrence. 3rd ed. (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press)
- Charles L Ross and Dennis Jackson, eds. (1995) Editing D H Lawrence: New Versions of a Modern Author (Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press)
- Keith Sagar (1979) D H Lawrence: a Calendar of his Works (Manchester, Manchester University Press)
- Keith Sagar (1982) D H Lawrence Handbook (Manchester, Manchester University Press)
- Arthur J. Bachrach, D. H. Lawrence in New Mexico: "The Time is Different There" , Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2006. ISBN 978-0-8263-3496-1
- Catherine Carswell (1932) The Savage Pilgrimage (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, reissued 1981)
- Frieda Lawrence (1934) Not I, But The Wind (Santa Fe: Rydal Press)
- E. T. (Jessie Chambers Wood) (1935) D. H. Lawrence: A Personal Record (Jonathan Cape)
- Witter Bynner (1951) Journey with Genius: Recollections and Reflections Concerning the D. H. Lawrences (John Day Company)
- Edward Nehls (1957–59) D. H. Lawrence: A Composite Biography, Volumes I-III (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press)
- Anaïs Nin (1963) D. H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study (Athens: Swallow Press)
- Emile Delavenay (1972) D. H. Lawrence: The Man and his Work: The Formative Years, 1885–1919, trans. Katherine M. Delavenay (London: Heinemann)
- Joseph Foster (1972) D. H. Lawrence in Taos (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press)
- Harry T. Moore (1974) The Priest of Love: A Life of D. H. Lawrence (Heinemann)
- Paul Delany (1979) D. H. Lawrence's Nightmare: The Writer and his Circle in the Years of the Great War (Hassocks: Harvester Press)
- G H Neville (1981) A Memoir of D. H. Lawrence: The Betrayal (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
- C. J. Stevens The Cornish Nightmare (D. H. Lawrence in Cornwall), Whitston Pub. Co., 1988, ISBN 0-87875-348-6, D. H. Lawrence and the war years
- C. J. Stevens Lawrence at Tregerthen (D. H. Lawrence), Whitston Pub. Co., 1988, ISBN 0-87875-348-6
- John Worthen (1991) D. H. Lawrence: The Early Years, 1885–1912 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
- Mark Kincaid-Weekes (1996) D. H. Lawrence: Triumph to Exile, 1912–1922 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
- Brenda Maddox (1994) D. H. Lawrence: The Story of a Marriage (W. W. Norton & Co)
- David Ellis (1998) D. H. Lawrence: Dying Game, 1922–1930 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
- Geoff Dyer (1999) Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling With D. H. Lawrence (New York: North Point Press)
- Keith Sagar (2003) The Life of D. H. Lawrence: An Illustrated Biography (London: Chaucer Press)
- John Worthen (2005) D. H. Lawrence: The Life of an Outsider (London: Penguin/Allen Lane)
- Keith Alldritt (1971) The Visual Imagination of D. H. Lawrence (Edward Arnold)
- Michael Bell (1992) D. H. Lawrence: Language and Being (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
- Richard Beynon, (ed.) (1997) D. H. Lawrence: The Rainbow and Women in Love (Cambridge: Icon Books)
- Michael Black (1986) D H Lawrence: The Early Fiction (Palgrave MacMillan)
- Michael Black (1991) D. H. Lawrence: The Early Philosophical Works: A Commentary (London and Basingstoke: Macmillan)
- Michael Black (1992) Sons and Lovers (Cambridge University Press)
- Michael Black (2001) Lawrence's England: The Major Fiction, 1913–1920 (Palgrave-MacMillan)
- Keith Brown, ed. (1990) Rethinking Lawrence, Milton Keynes: Open University Press
- Anthony Burgess (1985) Flame Into Being: The Life And Work Of D. H. Lawrence (William Heinemann)
- Aidan Burns (1980) Nature and Culture in D. H. Lawrence (London and Basingstoke: Macmillan)
- L. D. Clark (1980) The Minoan Distance: The Symbolism of Travel in D H Lawrence, University of Arizona Press
- Colin Clarke (1969) River of Dissolution: D. H. Lawrence and English Romanticism (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul)
- Joseph Davis (1989) D. H. Lawrence at Thirroul (Collins, Sydney, Australia)
- Carol Dix (1980) D H Lawrence and Women, Macmillan
- R. P. Draper (1970) D H Lawrence: The Critical Heritage, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul
- Anne Fernihough (1993) D. H. Lawrence: Aesthetics and Ideology (Oxford:Clarendon Press)
- Anne Fernihough, ed. (2001) The Cambridge Companion to D H Lawrence (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press)
- John R. Harrison (1966) The Reactionaries: Yeats, Lewis, Pound, Eliot, Lawrence: A Study of the Anti-Democratic Intelligentsia (Victor Gollancz, London)
- Graham Holderness (1982) D. H. Lawrence: History, Ideology and Fiction (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan)
- Graham Hough (1956) The Dark Sun: A Study of D H Lawrence, Duckworth
- John Humma (1990) Metaphor and Meaning in D. H. Lawrence's Later Novels, University of Missouri Press
- Frank Kermode (1973) Lawrence (London: Fontana)
- Mark Kinkead – Weekes (1968) The Marble and the Statue: The Exploratory Imagination of D. H. Lawrence, pp. 371–418. in Gregor, lan and Maynard Mack (eds.), Imagined Worlds: Essays in Honour of John Butt (London: Methuen,)
- F. R. Leavis (1955) D H Lawrence: Novelist (London, Chatto and Windus)
- F. R. Leavis (1976) Thought, Words and Creativity: Art and Thought in D. H. Lawrence (London, Chatto and Windus)
- Sheila Macleod (1985) Lawrence's Men and Women (London: Heinemann)
- Barbara Mensch (1991) D. H. Lawrence and the Authoritarian Personality (London and Basingstoke: Macmillan)
- Kate Millett (1970) Sexual Politics (Garden City, NY: Doubleday)
- Colin Milton (1987) Lawrence and Nietzsche: A Study in Influence (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press)
- Robert E Montgomery (1994) The Visionary D. H. Lawrence: Beyond Philosophy and Art (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
- Alastair Niven (1978) D. H. Lawrence: The Novels (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
- Cornelia Nixon (1986) Lawrence's Leadership Politics and the Turn Against Women (Berkeley: University of California Press)
- Tony Pinkney (1990) D. H. Lawrence (London and New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf)
- Charles L. Ross (1991) Women in Love: A Novel of Mythic Realism (Boston, Mass.: Twayne)
- Keith Sagar (1966) The Art of D H Lawrence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
- Keith Sagar (1985) D H Lawrence: Life into Art (University of Georgia Press)
- Keith Sagar (2008) D. H. Lawrence: Poet (Penrith: Humanities-Ebooks)
- Daniel J. Schneider (1986) The Consciousness of D. H. Lawrence: An Intellectual Biography (Lawrence, Kan.: University Press of Kansas)
- Michael Squires and Keith Cushman (1990) The Challenge of D. H. Lawrence (Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press)
- Peter Widdowson, ed. (1992) D. H. Lawrence (London and New York: Longman)
- John Worthen (1979) D. H. Lawrence and the Idea of the Novel (London and Basingstoke, Macmillan).
- T R Wright (2000) D H Lawrence and the Bible (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press)
- "It has been a savage enough pilgrimage these last four years" Letter to J. M. Murry, 2 February 1923.
- Letter to The Nation and Atheneum, 29 March 1930.
- DH Lawrence - The life and death of author, David Herbert Lawrence
- Broxtowe Borough Council: D. H. Lawrence Heritage at www.broxtowe.gov.uk
- Letter to Rolf Gardiner, 3 December 1926.
- Stonesifer, R.J. (1963), W. H. Davies - A Critical Biography, London, Jonathan Cape.
- Maddox, Brenda. D. H. Lawrence: The Story of a Marriage. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994. ISBN 0-671-68712-3
- Letter to Henry Savage, 2 December 1913
- Quoted in My Life and Times, Octave Five, 1918–1923 by Compton MacKenzie pp. 167–168
- See the chapter "Rooms in the Egoist Hotel," and esp. p. 53, in Clarke, Bruce (1996). Dora Marsden and Early Modernism: Gender, Individualism, Science. U of Michigan P. pp. 137–72. ISBN 978-0-472-10646-2.
- Haycock, A Crisis of Brilliance': Five Young British Artists and the Great War' (2009), 257
- Luciano Marrocu, Introduzione to Mare e Sardegna (Ilisso 2000); Giulio Angioni, Pane e formaggio e altre cose di Sardegna (Zonza 2002)
- "D. H. Lawrence Forbidden Art". Retrieved 14 December 2010.
- Squire's, Michael. D. H. Lawrence and Frieda. Andre Deutsch: London
- Eagleton, Terry (2005). The English novel: an introduction. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 258–260.
- The Letters of D. H. Lawrence. Cambridge University Press. 2002. pp. 365–366.
- John R. Harrison (1966) The Reactionaries: Yeats, Lewis, Pound, Eliot, Lawrence: A Study of the Anti-Democratic Intelligentsia (Victor Gollancz, London)
- Millett, Kate, 1969 (2000). "III: The Literary Reflection". Sexual Politics. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-252-06889-0.
- Mailer, Norman (March 1971). "The Prisoner of Sex". Harper’s Magazine. Retrieved 13 September 2009. and Mailer, Norman (January 1971). Prisoner of Sex. Little Brown. ISBN 0-316-54413-2.
- Coming Through (1985) at the Internet Movie Database
- Nominees and Recipients at www.helenhayes.org
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- Works by or about D. H. Lawrence in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Works by D. H. Lawrence at Project Gutenberg
- D. H. Lawrence public domain audiobooks from LibriVox
- E-texts from Project Gutenberg Australia (includes content not in the public domain in some jurisdictions)
- With the Guns article by Lawrence. Guardian 18 August 1914. Accessed 2010-09-15
- D. H. Lawrence free downloadable books including kindle editions at feedbooks
- Nickolas Muray's portrait sittings of D. H. Lawrence; photo #1, photo#2, photo #3
- The D. H. Lawrence Review, scholarly journal
- Guide to the D. H. Lawrence Archive at The Bancroft Library, California. Accessed 2010-09-15
- Frieda Lawrence Collection. Accessed 2010-09-15
- D. H. Lawrence resource at the University of Nottingham. Accessed 2010-09-15
- D. H. Lawrence archive held at the University of Nottingham. Accessed 2010-09-15
- Lawrence archive at Harry Ransom Center University of Texas at Austin. Accessed 2010-09-15
- D. H. Lawrence Letters, 1916-1929 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Special Collections Research Center