The Plumed Serpent

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
First US edition (publ, Knopf, 1926)
Cover by Dorothy Brett

The Plumed Serpent is a novel by D. H. Lawrence, first published by Martin Secker in 1926. It was begun when the author was living at what is now the D. H. Lawrence Ranch near Taos in U.S. state of New Mexico in 1924, accompanied by his wife Frieda and artist Dorothy Brett.[1] The original working title of an early draft was "Quetzalcoatl", a reference to the cult of the plumed serpent in Mexico.


The novel has a contemporary setting during the period of the Mexican Revolution. It opens with a group of tourists visiting a bullfight in Mexico City. One of them, Kate Leslie, departs in disgust and encounters Don Cipriano, a Mexican general. Later she meets his friend, an intellectual landowner Don Ramón, and travels to Sayula, a small town set on a lake. Ramón and Cipriano are leading a revival of a pre-Christian religion and Kate becomes drawn into their cult.


Literary critic Harold Bloom writes that Lawrence was writing as a "rather weird political theorist" in The Plumed Serpent.[2]

Standard editions[edit]

  • The Plumed Serpent (1926), edited by L.D. Clark, Cambridge University Press, 1987, ISBN 0-521-22262-1
  • The Plumed Serpent (1926), ed. by L. D. Clark and Introd. Virginia Crosswhite Hyde, Penguin Twentieth Century Classics 1995 ISBN 0-14-018812-6
  • The Plumed Serpent (1926), Edited with an introduction by Ronald G. Walker, Penguin English Library, 1983
  • Quetzalcoatl (1925), edited by Louis L Martz, W W Norton Edition, 1998, ISBN 0-8112-1385-4 – Early draft of The Plumed Serpent


  1. ^ Taos Summer Writers Conference
  2. ^ Bloom, Harold. The Western Cannon: The Books and School of the Ages. Riverhead Books, 1995, p. 408.

External links[edit]