It was first drafted in 1915 as a short story entitled The Thimble. Lawrence rewrote and extended it under a new title in December 1921 and sent the final version to his English agent on 9 January 1922. It was collected with two other tales, The Captain's Doll and The Fox, and the three novellas were then published in London by Martin Secker in March 1923 under the title The Ladybird and in New York by Thomas Seltzer as The Captain's Doll in April 1923.
- The Ladybird, The Fox, The Captain's Doll (1923), edited by Dieter Mehl, Cambridge University Press, 1992, ISBN 0-521-35266-5
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