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Lawrence, D. H.

D. H. Lawrence: (David Herbert Lawrence), 1885–1930, English author, one of the primary shapers of 20th-century fiction.

Life

The son of a Nottingham coal miner, Lawrence was a sickly child, devoted to his refined but domineering mother, who insisted upon his education. He graduated from the teacher-training course at University College, Nottingham, in 1905 and became a schoolmaster in a London suburb. In 1909 some of his poems were published in the English Review, edited by Ford Madox Ford, who was also instrumental in the publication of Lawrence's first novel, The White Peacock (1911).

Lawrence eloped to the Continent in 1912 with Frieda von Richthofen Weekley, a German noblewoman who was the wife of a Nottingham professor; they were married in 1914. During World War I the couple was forced to remain in England; Lawrence's outspoken opposition to the war and Frieda's German birth aroused suspicion that they were spies. In 1919 they left England, returning only for brief visits. Their nomadic existence was spent variously in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Australia, the United States (New Mexico), and Mexico. Lawrence died at the age of 45 of tuberculosis, a disease with which he had struggled for years.

Works

Lawrence believed that industrialized Western culture was dehumanizing because it emphasized intellectual attributes to the exclusion of natural or physical instincts. He thought, however, that this culture was in decline and that humanity would soon evolve into a new awareness of itself as being a part of nature. One aspect of this "blood consciousness" would be an acceptance of the need for sexual fulfillment. His three great novels, Sons and Lovers (1913), The Rainbow (1915), and Women in Love (1921), concern the consequences of trying to deny humanity's union with nature.

After World War I, Lawrence began to believe that society needed to be reorganized under one superhuman leader. The novels containing this theme—Aaron's Rod (1922), Kangaroo (1923), and The Plumed Serpent (1926)—are all considered failures. Lawrence's most controversial novel is Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928), the story of an English noblewoman who finds love and sexual fulfillment with her husband's gamekeeper. Because their lovemaking is described in intimate detail (for the 1920s), the novel caused a sensation and was banned in England and the United States until 1959.

All of Lawrence's novels are written in a lyrical, sensuous, often rhapsodic prose style. He had an extraordinary ability to convey a sense of specific time and place, and his writings often reflected his complex personality. Lawrence's works include volumes of stories, poems, and essays. He also wrote a number of plays, travel books such as Etruscan Places (1932), and volumes of literary criticism, notably Studies in Classic American Literature (1916).

Bibliography

See the Portable D. H. Lawrence, ed. by D. Trilling (1947); his collected letters (ed. with introduction by H. T. Moore, 1962); his complete poems, ed. by V. De Sola Pinto and F. W. Roberts (1977); biographies by J. M. Murray (1931), G. Trease (1973), H. T. Moore (rev. ed. 1974), J. Meyers (1990), P. Callow (1998 and 2003), and J. Worthen (2005), and series biography by J. Worthen (Vol. I, 1991), M. Kinkead-Weekes (Vol. II, 1996), and D. Ellis (Vol III., 1998); D. H. Lawrence: The Story of a Marriage (1994) by B. Maddox; and The Cambridge Biography; studies by D. Cavitch (1970), R. E. Pritchard (1972), S. Spender, ed. (1973), S. Sanders (1974), and J. Meyers (1982 and 1985).

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"Lawrence, D. H.." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Lawrence, D. H.." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/lawrence-d-h

"Lawrence, D. H.." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/lawrence-d-h

Lawrence, D. H.

Lawrence, D. H. (1885–1930). Nottinghamshire miner's son destined for notoriety as the author of Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928). His autobiographical Sons and Lovers (1913) sketches the background and the Oedipal tensions from which he escaped, a scholarship boy, first to London and then the continent. With him went Frieda von Richthofen, their early struggles recorded in his poem sequence Look! We Have Come Through! (1917). He had found his true subject, the relationship between men and women, and he wrote ‘to make English folk alter and have more sense’. The frankness of his approach led to prosecution of The Rainbow (1915), and the war years were a time of trial, though he was unfit for military service. Even so, Women in Love (1920) rivals Joyce's Ulysses as the greatest novel of the century. His subsequent wanderings took him as far as Australia and New Mexico in search of better health and the ideal society, but he found neither.

John Saunders

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"Lawrence, D. H.." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Lawrence, D. H.." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/lawrence-d-h

"Lawrence, D. H.." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/lawrence-d-h

Lawrence, D.H.

Lawrence, D.H. ( David Herbert) (1885–1930) English novelist, short-story writer and poet. A miner's son, in 1909 Ford Madox Ford published Lawrence's first poems in the English Review. His debut novel was The White Peacock (1911). In 1912, Lawrence published his second novel, The Trespasser, and eloped to Germany with Frieda Weekley (née von Richthofen). His first major novel was the semi-autobiographical Sons and Lovers (1913). The Rainbow (1915), perhaps his greatest novel, was banned as obscene. Women in Love (1921) appeared in censored form. After completing Aaron's Rod (1922), Lawrence and Frieda went into self-imposed exile. Kangaroo (1923) was inspired by his travels in Australia, and The Plumed Serpent (1926) was set in Mexico. His last novel, Lady Chatterley's Lover was privately published (1928) in Florence, but until 1960 remained available only in expurgated form in England.

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"Lawrence, D.H.." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/lawrence-dh