Lawrence, D(avid) H(erbert Richards) 1885-1930
LAWRENCE, D(avid) H(erbert Richards) 1885-1930
(Jessie Chambers, Lawrence H. Davison)
PERSONAL: Born September 11, 1885, in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, England; died of tuberculosis, March 2, 1930, in Vence, France; son of John Arthur (a coal miner) and Lydia (a schoolteacher; maiden name, Beardsall) Lawrence; married Frieda von Richthofen Weekley, July 13, 1914. Education: Nottingham University College, teacher training certificate, 1908. Hobbies and other interests: Oil painting.
CAREER: Writer. Worked as a manufacturer's clerk, 1899; pupil-teacher, 1902-06, first at Eastwood British School, then at Ilkeston, Derbyshire; Davidson Road School, Croydon, England, junior assistant master, 1908-11.
AWARDS, HONORS: James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Edinburgh University, 1921, for The Lost Girl.
The White Peacock, Duffield, 1911, revised edition edited by Andrew Robertson, introduction by Melvyn Bragg, Viking (New York, NY), 1984, reprinted, 1995.
The Trespasser, M. Kennerley (New York, NY), 1912, revised edition edited by Elizabeth Mansfield, Viking (New York, NY), 1983, revised with Elizabeth Mansfield, Penguin (New York, NY), 1994.
Sons and Lovers, M. Kennerley (New York, NY), 1913, reprinted, Dover (Mineola, NY), 2002, edited with an introduction and notes by Keith Sagar, Penguin, 1981, with notes by Helen and Carl Baron, Penguin (New York, NY), 1994, with notes by David Trotter, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1995, published as Sons and Lovers: A Facsimile of the Manuscript, edited with an introduction by Mark Schorer, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1977, expanded edition edited by Helen and Carl Baron, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1992, with an introduction by Geoff Dyer, Modern Library (New York, NY), 1999.
The Rainbow, Methuen (London, England), 1915, expurgated edition, B. W. Huebsch (New York, NY), 1916, reprinted edition edited with an introduction and notes by John Worthen, Penguin, 1981, reprinted, with Mark Kinkead-Weekes, Penguin (New York, NY), 1995.
Women in Love, privately printed (New York, NY), 1920, M. Secker (London, England), 1921, T. Seltzer (New York, NY), 1922, with foreword by Lawrence, introduction by Richard Aldington, Penguin, 1983, expanded edition edited by David R. Farmer, Lindeth Vasey, and John Worthen, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1987, reprinted, Modern Library (New York, NY), 2002.
The Lost Girl, M. Secker (London, England), 1920, T. Seltzer (New York, NY), 1921, edited by John Worthen, Viking (New York, NY), 1982, with an introduction by Jeffrey Meyers, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 1996, with an introduction by Lee Diegel, Modern Library (New York, NY), 2003.
Aaron's Rod, T. Seltzer (New York, NY), 1922, new edition, Viking (New York, NY), 1972.
The Captain's Doll: Three Novelettes (contains The Captain's Doll, The Fox [also see below], and The Ladybird), T. Seltzer (New York, NY), 1923, published as The Ladybird. The Fox. The Captain's Doll, M. Secker (London, England), 1923, reprinted, Penguin, 1994.
Kangaroo, T. Seltzer (New York, NY), 1923, new edition, introduction by Richard Aldington, Viking (New York, NY), 1974, edited by Bruce Steele and with a new introduction, Penguin (New York, NY), 1997.
(With M. L. Skinner) The Boy in the Bush, T. Seltzer (New York, NY), 1924, facsimile reprint, Southern Illinois University Press (Carbondale, IL), 1971, edited and with introduction and notes by Paul Eggert, Penguin (New York, NY), 1996.
St. Mawr, Knopf (New York, NY), 1925, expanded edition published as St. Mawr, together with The Princess (also see below), M. Secker (London, England), 1925.
The Plumed Serpent (Quetzalcoatl), Knopf (New York, NY), 1926, with an introduction by William York Tindall, 1951.
Sun, expurgated edition, E. Archer, 1926, unexpurgated edition, Black Sun Press (Paris, France), 1928.
Lady Chatterley's Lover, privately printed, G. Orioli (Florence, Italy), 1928, W. Faro, 1930, expurgated edition, Knopf (New York, NY), 1932, unexpurgated edition, Heinemann (London, England), 1956, with an introduction by Mark Schorer, Grove (New York, NY), 1959, published as The Complete and Unexpurgated Edition of Lady Chatterley's Lover (includes decision by Federal Judge Frederick van Pelt Bryan) Pyramid Books (New York, NY), 1959, published with Lawrence's preface, "A Propos of Lady Chatterley's Lover" (also see below), Heinemann (London, England), 1982, reprint of third manuscript version, preface by Archibald MacLeish, introduction by Schorer, Modern Library (New York, NY), 1983, published as Lady Chatterley's Lover; A Propos of Lady Chatterley's Lover, Penguin (New York, NY), 1994, with an introduction by Kathryn Harrison, Modern Library (New York, NY), 2001, with an introduction by Geoff Dyer, New American Library (New York, NY), 2003.
The Escaped Cock, Black Sun Press (Paris, France), 1929, published as The Man Who Died, Knopf (New York, NY), 1931, reprinted, Ecco Press, 1994, expanded edition published in two volumes, Black Sparrow Press, 1973.
The Virgin and the Gypsy, Knopf (New York, NY), 1930, reprinted, Random House (New York, NY), 1984.
The First Lady Chatterley, Dial Press (New York, NY), 1944, published as The First Lady Chatterley: The First Version of Lady Chatterley's Lover, foreword by Frieda Lawrence, Heinemann (London, England), 1972.
The Fox, Sphere (London, England), 1971.
John Thomas and Lady Jane, Viking (New York, NY), 1972, published as John Thomas and Lady Jane: The Second Version of Lady Chatterley's Lover, Heinemann (London, England), 1972).
Mr. Noon (unfinished; portions previously published in A Modern Lover [also see below]), edited by Lindeth Vasey, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1984.
Quetzalcoatl: The Early Version of "The Plumed Serpent," Black Swan, 1995, edited with an introduction by Louis L. Martz, New Directions (New York, NY), 1998.
The Prussian Officer and Other Stories, Duckworth (London, England), 1914, B. W. Huebsch (New York, NY), 1916, edited by John Worthen, introduction by Melvyn Bragg, Viking (New York, NY), 1984, reprinted, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1995.
England, My England and Other Stories, T. Seltzer (New York, NY), 1922, reprinted, Books for Libraries Press, 1972.
Glad Ghosts (also see below), E. Benn (London, England), 1926
The Woman Who Rode Away and Other Stories (includes "Sun," "The Woman Who Rode Away," and "The Man Who Loved Islands"), Knopf (New York, NY), 1928, revised, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1995.
Rawdon's Roof (also see below), Elkin Mathews & Marrot, 1928.
Love among the Haystacks, and Other Pieces, reminiscence by David Garnett, Nonesuch Press (London, England), 1930, Viking (New York, NY), 1933, edited by John Worthen and with an introduction by Keith Cushman, Penguin (New York, NY), 1996.
The Lovely Lady (includes "The Rocking-Horse Winner"), M. Secker (London, England), 1932, Viking (New York, NY), 1933, reprinted, Books for Libraries Press, 1972.
A Modern Lover, Viking (New York, NY), 1934, reprinted in A Modern Lover and Other Short Stories, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1995.
A Prelude (first published under pseudonym Jessie Chambers in the Nottingham Guardian), Merle Press, 1949.
Complete Short Stories, three volumes, Heinemann (London, England), 1955, published as The Collected Short Stories of D. H. Lawrence, 1974, Viking (New York, NY), 1961.
The Horse Dealer's Daughter, School of Art Press (Oxford, England), 1963.
The Rocking-Horse Winner, edited by Dominick P. Consolo, C. E. Merrill, 1969.
The Princess and Other Stories, Penguin (London, England), 1971.
The Mortal Coil and Other Stories, edited by Keith Sagar, Penguin (London, England), 1971.
You Touched Me, illustrated by Sandra Higashi, Creative Education, Inc., 1982.
Four Short Novels, Franklin Library (Franklin Center, PA), 1984.
Erotic Works, edited by Claire Booss and Christopher Busa, Gramercy Books (New York, NY), 2003.
Selected Stories, edited and with an introduction by James Wood, Modern Library (New York, NY), 1999.
Love Poems and Others, Duckworth (London, England), 1913, M. Kennerley (New York, NY), 1915.
Amores, B. W. Huebsch (New York, NY), 1916.
Look! We Have Come Through!, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1917, B. W. Huebsch, 1918, published as Look! We Have Come Through! A Cycle of Love Poems, introduction by Frieda Lawrence, illustrated by M. Adam, Ark Press (Dulverton, England), 1958, with woodcuts by Felix Hoffman, Humanities Research Center, University of Texas (Austin, TX), 1971.
New Poems, M. Secker (London, England), 1918, B. W. Huebsch, 1920, reprint of Secker edition, Haskell House, 1974.
Bay, Beaumont, 1919.
Tortoises, T. Seltzer (New York, NY), 1921, published as Tortoises: Six Poems, introduction by Jefferson Hunter, illustrated with wood engravings by Alan James Robinson, Cheloniidae Press (Williamsburg, MA), 1983.
Birds, Beasts, and Flowers, T. Seltzer (New York, NY), 1923, reprinted, Haskell House, 1974.
The Collected Poems of D. H. Lawrence, Volume I: Rhyming Poems, Volume II: Unrhyming Poems, M. Secker (London, England), 1928, published in one volume, 1932.
Pansies, Knopf (New York, NY), 1929, expanded edition privately printed, 1929.
Nettles, Faber (London, England), 1930.
Last Poems, edited by Richard Aldington and Giuseppe Orioli, G. Orioli (Florence Italy), 1932, Viking, (New York, NY) 1933, reprinted, Scholarly Press, 1971.
The Ship of Death and Other Poems, M. Secker (London, England), 1933.
Fire and Other Poems, foreword by Robinson Jeffers, note by Frieda Lawrence, Grabhorn Press, 1940.
The Complete Poems of D. H. Lawrence, collected and edited with an introduction and notes by Vivian de Sola Pinto and Warren Roberts, Heinemann (London, England), 1964, Viking (New York, NY), 1971.
D. H. Lawrence: Poems Selected for Young People, Viking (New York, NY), 1967.
The Body of God, Ark Press (Dulverton, England), 1970.
D. H. Lawrence: Selected Poetry and Non-Fictional Prose, Routledge (New York, NY), 1990.
No One Else Is Lawrence!: A Dozen of D. H. Lawrence's Best Poems, Harbour Publishing (Madeira Park, British Columbia, Canada), 1998.
Snake and Other Poems, Dover Publications (Mineola, NY), 1999.
The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd: A Drama in Three Acts (produced in London, England, 1926; also see below), M. Kennerley (New York, NY), 1914, edited and with an introduction by Simon Trussler, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2001, with foreword by John Worthen, Pine Street Books (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.
Touch and Go: A Play in Three Acts (first produced in Oxford, England, 1979), T. Seltzer (New York, NY), 1920.
David (first produced in London, England, 1927), Knopf (New York, NY), 1926, reprinted, Haskell House, 1974.
A Collier's Friday Night (first produced in London, England, 1973), privately printed, 1940, Norwood Editions (Norwood, PA), 1976.
Complete Plays, Heinemann (London, England), 1965, Viking (New York, NY), 1966.
The Daughter-in-Law, first produced in London, England, at Royal Court Theatre, 1967.
The Fight for Barbara, first produced in London, England, 1967.
Plays (contains The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd, David, The Married Man, The Daughter-in-Law, The Fight for Barbara, Touch and Go, The Merry-Go-Round, A Collier's Friday Night, Altitude, and Noah's Flood), introduction by Malcolm Elwin, Heron Books, 1969.
Plays, edited by Hans-Wilhelm Schwarze and John Worthen, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1999.
Twilight in Italy, B. W. Huebsch (New York, NY), 1916, published as Twilight in Italy and Other Essays, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1995.
Sea and Sardinia, T. Seltzer (New York, NY), 1921, new edition, introduction by Richard Aldington, Viking (New York, NY), 1963.
Mornings in Mexico, Knopf (New York, NY), 1927, new edition, introduction by Ross Parmenter, G. M. Smith (Salt Lake City, UT), 1982.
Etruscan Places, Viking (New York, NY), 1932, reprinted, 1963.
Sketches of Etruscan Places and Other Italian Essays, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1992.
D. H. Lawrence and Italy, with an introduction by Anthony Burgess, Penguin (New York, NY), 1997.
D. H. Lawrence in Italy and England, edited by George Donaldson and Mara Kalnins, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1998.
(Under pseudonym Lawrence H. Davison) Movements in European History, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1921, published under name D. H. Lawrence, 1925, reprinted, 1971.
Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious (also see below), T. Seltzer (New York, NY), 1921.
Fantasia of the Unconscious (also see below), T. Seltzer (New York, NY), 1922.
Studies in Classic American Literature (essays), T. Seltzer (New York, NY), 1923, new edition, Penguin, 1977.
Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine and Other Essays, Centaur Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1925, Indiana University Press, 1963.
Pornography and Obscenity, Faber (London, England), 1929, Knopf (New York, NY), 1930, published as Pornography and Obscenity: An Essay, Alicat Book Shop, 1948.
Assorted Articles, Knopf (New York, NY), 1930, reprinted, Books for Libraries Press, 1968.
Apocalypse (also see below), G. Orioli (Florence, Italy), 1931, with an introduction by Richard Aldington, Viking (New York, NY), 1932, reprinted, 1966.
We Need One Another (two essays; originally published in Scribner's), illustrations by John P. Heins, Equinox, (London, England) 1933, reprinted, Haskell House, 1974.
Phoenix: The Posthumous Papers of D. H. Lawrence, edited with an introduction by Edward D. McDonald, Viking (New York, NY), 1936, reprinted, 1972.
Sex, Literature, and Censorship: Essays, edited by Harry T. Moore, Twayne (New York, NY), 1953.
Selected Literary Criticism, Heinemann (London, England), 1955.
The Symbolic Meaning: The Uncollected Versions of Studies in Classic American Literature, edited by Armin Arnold, preface by Harry T. Moore, Centaur Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1962.
Phoenix II: Uncollected, Unpublished, and Other Prose Works, edited with an introduction and notes by Warren Roberts and Harry T. Moore, Viking (New York, NY), 1968.
D. H. Lawrence on Education, Penguin Education (Harmondsworth, England), 1973.
Lawrence on Hardy and Painting: Study of Thomas Hardy [and] Introduction to These Paintings (essays; originally published in Phoenix, 1936), Heinemann Educational (London, England), 1973.
Study of Thomas Hardy and Other Essays, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1985.
Selected Works, Gramercy (New York, NY), 1994.
Apocalypse and the Writings on Revelation, edited by Mara Kalnins, Penguin (New York, NY), 1996.
Selected Critical Writings, edited with an introduction and notes by Michael Herbert, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1998.
Psychanalysis and the Unconscious; and, Fantasia of the Unconscious, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2003.
Late Essays and Articles, edited by James T. Boulton, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2004.
Introductions and Reviews, edited by N. H. Reeve and John Worthen, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2004.
The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, edited with an introduction by Aldous Huxley, Viking (New York, NY), 1932.
D. H. Lawrence: Reminiscences and Correspondence, edited by Earl Brewster and Achsah Brewster, M. Secker (London, England), 1934.
D. H. Lawrence's Letter to "The Laughing Horse," privately printed, 1936.
Letters to Bertrand Russell, edited by Harry T. Moore, Gotham Book Mart (New York, NY), 1948.
Selected Letters, introduction by Aldous Huxley, Penguin (London, England), 1950, reprinted, 1996.
Eight Letters to Rachel Annand Taylor, foreword by Majl Ewing, Castle Press, 1956.
Collected Letters, edited with an introduction by Harry T. Moore, two volumes, Viking (New York, NY), 1962.
Lawrence in Love: Letters to Louie Burrows, edited with an introduction and notes by James T. Boulton, University of Nottingham (Nottingham, England), 1968.
The Quest for Rananim: D. H. Lawrence's Letters to S. S. Koteliansky, 1914 to 1930, edited with an introduction by George J. Zytaruk, McGill-Queen's University Press (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 1970.
Letters from D. H. Lawrence to Martin Secker, 1911-1930, privately printed (London, England), 1970.
The Centaur Letters, introduction by Edward D. McDonald, Humanities Research Center, University of Texas (Austin, TX), 1970.
Consciousness, privately printed by the Press of the Pegacycle Lady, 1974.
Letters to Thomas and Adele Seltzer, edited by Gerald M. Lacy, Black Sparrow Press, 1976.
The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), Volume I: September, 1901-May, 1913, edited by James T. Boulton, 1979, Volume II: June, 1913-October, 1916, edited by George J. Zytaruk and Boulton, 1982, Volume III: October, 1916-June, 1921, edited by Boulton and Andrew Robertson, 1984, Volume IV: 1921-1924, edited by Boulton, Elizabeth Mansfield, and Warren Roberts, 1987, Volume V: 1924-1927, edited by Boulton and Lindeth Vasey, 1989, Volume VI: March, 1927-November, 1928, edited by James and Margaret Boulton, 1991, Volume VII: November, 1928-February, 1930, edited by J. Boulton and Keith Sager, 1994.
The Letters of D. H. Lawrence and Amy Lowell, 1914-1925, edited by E. Claire Healey and Keith Cushman, Black Sparrow Press, 1985.
The Selected Letters of D. H. Lawrence, edited by James T. Boulton, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1996.
(Translator) A. F. Grazzini, The Story of Doctor Manente, G. Orioli (Florence, Italy), 1919.
(Translator) Giovanni Verga, Mastro-Don Gesualdo, T. Seltzer (New York, NY), 1923.
(Author of introduction) Maurice Magnus, Memoirs of the Foreign Legion, M. Secker (London, England), 1924.
(Author of foreword) A Bibliography of the Writings of D. H. Lawrence, Norwood Editions (Norwood, PA), 1925.
(Translator) Giovanni Verga, Little Novels of Sicily, T. Seltzer (New York, NY), 1925, reprinted, Steerforth Italia (South Royalton, VT), 2000.
Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine and Other Essays, Centaur Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1925.
(Translator) Giovanni Verga, Cavalleria Rusticana, J. Cape (London, England), 1928.
My Skirmish with Jolly Roger, Random House (New York, NY), 1929, revised edition published as A Propos of Lady Chatterley's Lover, Being an Essay Extended from "My Skirmish with Jolly Roger," Mandrake Press, 1930, reprinted, Haskell House, 1973, published as A Propos of Lady Chatterley's Lover, M. Secker (London, England), 1931.
The Paintings of D. H. Lawrence, introduction by Lawrence, privately printed for subscribers only, Mandrake Press, 1929.
D. H. Lawrence's Unpublished Foreword to "Women in Love," 1919, preface by Nathan van Patten, Gelber, Lilienthal, 1936.
The Portable D. H. Lawrence, Viking Press (New York, NY), 1947.
Life, Ark Press (Surrey, England), 1954.
The Later D. H. Lawrence: The Best Novels, Stories, Essays, 1925-1930, University of Nottingham (Nottingham, England), 1968.
Lawrence on Hardy and Painting: Study of Thomas Hardy, Knopf (New York, NY), 1973.
Ten Paintings, Carcanet (Manchester, England), 1982.
The Sayings of D. H. Lawrence, Duckworth (London, England), 1995.
Work represented in anthologies and collections. Contributor of works in a variety of genres to periodicals, including the Adelphi, Dial, English Review, Equinox, and Vanity Fair.
ADAPTATIONS: A number of Lawrence's works have been adapted for film, including the novels Sons and Lovers, Women in Love, Kangaroo, and Lady Chatterley's Lover, and the short novel The Fox. Works adapted for other media include The Fox, which was adapted as a play, and Lady Chatterley's Lover, which was released as a sound recording.
SIDELIGHTS: During most of his career as a writer, D. H. Lawrence sparked controversy, and debate continues to characterize discussion of his life and work. Personally, his elopement with Frieda von Richthofen Weekley, the wife of another man, branded him an interloper. His peripatetic existence, marked by frequent changes of residence, country, and continent, earned Lawrence a reputation as a bohemian. Moreover, his personality, capable alternately of charm and malice, provoked extreme reactions from others. Professionally, his work defied not only the conventional artistic norms of his day but also its political, social, and moral values. In his foreword to D. H. Lawrence and Human Existence by Father William Tiverton, T. S. Eliot criticized Lawrence for "express[ing] his insights in the form least likely to make them acceptable to most of his contemporaries."
In particular, the sexual explicitness of many of Lawrence's books and paintings inflamed contemporary public opinion and resulted in several notorious court cases on charges of obscenity and pornography. As late as 1985 Lydia Blanchard, in D. H. Lawrence's "Lady": A New Look at "Lady Chatterley's Lover," defended Lawrence against such accusations by associating him with "the battle against prudery and censorship, with the fight both to destroy the sexual restrictions of the Victorian age and to affirm the phallic reality of the body." Shortly after Lawrence's death, a London Times writer regretted that Lawrence "confused decency with hypocrisy, and honesty with the free and public use of vulgar words." However, in the Nation and Athenaeum, E. M. Forster lauded him as "the greatest imaginative genius of our generation."
The scope of Lawrence's "imaginative genius" was large. Best known as a novelist and short-story writer, he was also a notable poet and essayist. In D. H. Lawrence: Novelist, F. R. Leavis called him "an incomparable literary critic." According to Jeffrey Meyers in D. H. Lawrence and the Experience of Italy, his letters are "the greatest in English since [John] Keats and [Lord] Byron"; and his travel books "shift[ed] the center of interest from the external world to the self." In addition, Lawrence completed seven plays, of which two—The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd and David—were staged during his lifetime. He also painted, especially during the last few years of his life, finding in that practice, as he noted in an essay collected in Assorted Articles, "a form of delight that words can never give."
Leavis described the strength of Lawrence's prose as "an infallible centrality of judgment" stemming from "an unfailingly sure sense of the difference between that which makes for life and that which makes against it, of the difference between health and that which tends away from health." Along the same lines, Richard Ellmann wrote in an essay for The Achievement of D. H. Lawrence, that "Lawrence wrote his poetry, and much of his prose, as a healer." Ironically, he spent most of his life in poor health, fighting tuberculosis of the lungs, which at last proved fatal.
Frail from birth, David Herbert Richards Lawrence was the fourth of five children born to Arthur John Lawrence, a coal miner, and Lydia Beardsall Lawrence, a former schoolteacher whom Lawrence described as "superior" in an autobiographical sketch from Assorted Articles. Lawrence grew up where he was born, in Eastwood, a Nottinghamshire mining village in the Midlands of England. Late in life he confessed, in an autobiographical fragment published in Phoenix: "Nothing depresses me more than to come home to the place where I was born, and where I lived my first twenty years." Physical want and constant bickering between his parents plagued his childhood. In "Discord in Childhood," a lyric poem about those early years, Lawrence described his parents' respective voices as "a slender lash / Whistling she-delirious rage, and the dreadful sound / Of a male thong booming and bruising."
In The Priest of Love, biographer Harry T. Moore noted: "Even more than in the case of other intensely autobiographical authors, [Lawrence's] life helps to illuminate his writings." Lawrence's most widely read novel, Sons and Lovers, is an autobiographical account of his youth, "a purgation become the successful work of art," claimed Seymour Betsky in The Achievement of D. H. Lawrence. In a letter dated November 14, 1912, Lawrence referred to the "battle … between the mother and the girl, with the son as object," which rages at the center of the novel. It represents Lawrence's divided feelings for his own mother and for Jessie Chambers, the "Miriam" of the novel and many of the early poems, whom Lawrence met when he was sixteen. Like Paul Morel in the novel, the adolescent Lawrence "knitted together with his mother in perfect intimacy." Consequently, when he came into contact with women, theorized Chambers in D. H. Lawrence: A Personal Record, there was "a split." In a November 14, 1912, letter Lawrence described the novel, and by implication the personal story it tells, as "a great tragedy."
Not only Sons and Lovers but also many of his other novels and tales have some connection with Eastwood and its adjacent countryside and with the people he knew there. Lawrence's first novel, The White Peacock, "idealized" his family, friends, and their immediate surroundings according to Emile Delavenay in his biography D. H. Lawrence: The Man and His Work. Lawrence's acknowledged masterpieces, The Rainbow and Women in Love, drew upon life in Eastwood and on Lawrence's own experience and that of friends and acquaintances, who frequently served as the originals on which he modeled his characters. Even his last major novel, Lady Chatterley's Lover, returned to the Midlands, one of Lawrence's enduring symbols, for its setting. "There the natural beauty … comes up against industrial ugliness," wrote Moore in The Priest of Love. This ironic juxtaposition became one of the most prevalent themes in Lawrence's work.
Soon after he broke into the literary world, Lawrence met Edward Garnett, a reader for a publishing firm. With Garnett's encouragement, Lawrence had extensively revised his first novel, The Trespasser, before its publication. Garnett's sensitive criticism also helped Lawrence to complete Sons and Lovers and to put together his first book of verse, Love Poems and Others. As a tribute to Garnett, whom the young writer regarded as both father and brother, Lawrence dedicated Sons and Lovers to him. Interestingly, Lawrence was at first angry and bitter at the significant editing Garnett did to his original manuscript for the book. Feeling that the book's length and its frank sexual language would make it unpublishable, Garnett altered numerous passages and cut the length of the manuscript by more than 2,000 lines. Despite his original feelings, Lawrence eventually expressed gratitude and praise for Garnett's editing of the manuscript. The original, unedited version was not published until 1992, when Cambridge University Press produced a new, copyrighted version of the full manuscript.
Productive as they were artistically, these years were filled with personal crises. As Lawrence wrote in the foreword to Collected Poems, first came the "long illness and then the death of my mother; and in the sick year after, … I almost dissolved away myself, and was very ill." Because of his near-fatal illness, Lawrence gave up his teaching position and decided to live entirely on the earnings from his writing. He also terminated his relationships with several women, all of whom appear in his early fiction and poetry: Jessie Chambers, Helen Corke, and Louie Burrows—the "Beloved" of the poems and Lawrence's fiancée for almost two years. Then in April, 1912, on the eve of his departure for the continent, Lawrence met Frieda Weekley, the German-born, aristocratic wife of a professor at the University of Nottingham. In a letter to her written soon after their meeting, Lawrence called her "the most wonderful woman in all England." Scarcely one month later, Frieda eloped with Lawrence to Germany, leaving her husband and three small children behind. Thus began the unconventional, wandering life of the next twenty years that took the Lawrences—they married two years later, following Frieda's divorce—first to Italy, back to England during World War I, then to Sicily, Ceylon, Australia, the United States, Mexico, and finally once more to the Mediterranean.
Lawrence completed the final version of Sons and Lovers in Italy, where he and Frieda lived from 1912 to 1914. Although Lawrence later denied any intentional use of Freudian theories in writing the novel, early readers were quick to identify Freudian elements in the book. Alfred Booth Kuttner used Freudian theory to discuss the novel in an article for Psychoanalytic Review, the first important psychoanalytic study of Lawrence's work. Going one step further, John Middleton Murry, Lawrence's best friend during the war years, justified his theory, through references to Sons and Lovers, that Lawrence himself suffered from the Oedipus complex. In Son of Woman, his biography of Lawrence, Murry said of protagonist Paul Morel and by implication of Lawrence: "All unconsciously his mother had roused in him the stirrings of sexual desire…. He felt for his mother what he should have felt for the girl of his choice." However, Dorothy Van Ghent rejected the dominant Freudian interpretation of the novel, proposing in D. H. Lawrence: A Collection of Critical Essays that its central conflict originates in the clash between "the creative life force witnessed in the independent objectivity of things" and the "human attempt to distort and corrupt that selfhood." In Van Ghent's view, the novel alerts readers to "'the drift toward death' which Lawrence thought of as the disease syndrome of his time and of Europe."
Critical reactions to Sons and Lovers ranged from high praise to condemnation. Typical of the diverse reviews, a Manchester Guardian contributor judged the book "an achievement of the first quality," while in the Nation a critic warned of "boredom" and found the plot "commonplace and decadent." In contrast, Love Poems and Others, published the same year, won uniformly high praise. Ezra Pound asserted in Poetry that "there is no English poet under forty who can get within shot of him…. He has brought contemporary verse up to the level of contemporary prose."
Much that Lawrence wrote in Italy was about England, but he variously recorded his impressions of Italy in sketches later published as Twilight in Italy, Sea and Sardinia, and Etruscan Places, as well as in fiction—most extensively in The Lost Girl and Aaron's Rod, poetry, essays, and numerous letters. Referring to Italy, Meyers noted that "the sympathetic people, the traditional life, and especially the pagan, primitive element revitalized Lawrence and inspired his astonishing creative achievement…. Lawrence's discovery of Italy was also a discovery of himself."
Out of this period came The Prussian Officer and Other Stories, Lawrence's first collection of tales.
Delavenay stressed that these works placed Lawrence "in the front rank of contemporary English short story writers." R. E. Pritchard commented in D. H. Lawrence: Body of Darkness that "in their revised form, [these stories] mark the beginning of the 'true,' unmuffled Lawrence." Looking forward to his later writing, they transcend "conventional understanding of morality, personality, and even life … in search of the dark reality buried in the body, where consciousness, individuality, and sexuality are absorbed in the nonhuman source of life." In D. H. Lawrence at Work: The Emergence of "The Prussian Officer" Stories, Keith Cushman stressed the importance of this volume to understanding Lawrence's artistic development. As Janice Hubbard Harris wrote in The Short Fiction of D. H. Lawrence, "The individual tales, from 1907 to 1928, constitute a steady program of imaginative acts, each story having the potential to inspire Lawrence toward new projects or warn him of likely dead ends."
Also at this time, Lawrence began "The Sisters"—also called "The Wedding Ring" in manuscript—which after many drafts became The Rainbow and Women in Love. In D. H. Lawrence: Novelist, Leavis claimed that these two novels prove Lawrence to be "the greatest kind of artist" and represent "a supreme creative achievement." Because of these works, the critic identified Lawrence as "one of the major novelists of the English tradition." Leavis aggressively championed Lawrence as a novelist in Scrutiny in the early 1950s; until that time, as Hoffman and Moore pointed out, Lawrence's "new, bold, experimental, and antitraditional writing made it difficult for critics to place him."
In an attempt to explain his unconventional novelistic style to a skeptical Garnett, Lawrence cautioned in a letter of June 5, 1914, "You mustn't look in my novel for the old stable ego of the character. There is another ego, according to whose action the individual is unrecognizable…. Don't look for the development of the novel to follow the lines of certain characters: the characters fall into the form of some other rhythmic form." In The Achievement of D. H. Lawrence, Mark Schorer defined this "other rhythmic form" as a series of "separate episodes, and these only sporadically developed as 'scenes.' Yet these are meant to form a pattern of psychic relationships, a pattern of psychic movement with a large general rhythm, but without the objective or rationalized frame of the old novel." Like many other readers of the time, Garnett preferred the more conventional Sons and Lovers to Lawrence's later novels.
Shortly after the publication of The Rainbow, Scotland Yard seized over a thousand copies of the book from the publisher and printer. The book was an "orgy of sexiness," according to a 1915 reviewer in Sphere. As stated in his introduction to Lawrence's Apocalypse, Richard Aldington believed that the underlying motives for the suppression of the book were "that [Lawrence] denounced War. And [Frieda was] German." Whatever the reason, "after the suppression of The Rainbow in 1915, Lawrence acquired a bad newspaper reputation as a writer of supposedly salacious books," commented Hoffman and Moore in The Achievement of D. H. Lawrence. Consequently, although Lawrence completed Women in Love by 1916, publishing it proved impossible for four more years.
Lawrence published little during the years he spent in England between 1914 and 1918. His increasingly poor health was exacerbated by the English climate and the psychological pressure caused by the suspicions with which others regarded Frieda's German nationality and the couple's outspoken opposition to World War I. The military authorities threatened the ailing Lawrence with conscription, calling him periodically for medical examinations. Moreover, Lawrence found himself "very badly off" financially, as he confessed often in letters during these years. His writing brought him little income. Only books of verse, most of which he had written much earlier, appeared during this time: Amores; Look! We Have Come Through!; New Poems; and Bay.
Socially, Lawrence and Frieda formed many close if volatile friendships during the war years. John Middleton Murry and Murry's wife, Katherine Mansfield, who shared with them what Lawrence referred to in a letter of March 8, 1916, as a "Blutbruderschaft" (blood-brother relationship), even joined the Lawrences at their cottage in Cornwall until, as Delavenay reported, the Murrys "were embarrassed by the violence of [Lawrence's] quarrels with Frieda." Lawrence also socialized with a number of aristocrats interested in him because of his writing, among them Lady Cynthia Asquith and Lady Ottoline Morrell, both of whom appear as characters in Lawrence's fiction. Through Lady Ottoline, Lawrence made the acquaintance of the circle later known as the Bloomsbury group; he became intimate for a short time with Bertrand Russell before philosophical differences divided them, and also met American poet Amy Lowell, who made Lawrence a present of his first typewriter.
With the help of Lady Cynthia, the daughter-in-law of England's prime minister, Lawrence hoped to immigrate to the United States, where he planned to found a colony of like-minded individuals to be called "Rananim." Lawrence wrote on January 18, 1915, "I want to gather together about twenty souls and sail away from this world of war and squalor and found a little colony where there shall be no money but a sort of communism as far as the necessaries of life go, and some real decency." To prepare for emigration, Lawrence began reading American authors and writing critical essays on them. These were published in 1923 as Studies in Classic American Literature, described by Gamini Salgado in A Preface to Lawrence as "a milestone in the serious study of early American writers such as [Herman] Melville, [Nathaniel] Hawthorne, [James Fenimore] Cooper and [Edgar Allan] Poe." Lawrence also began articulating in prose some of the psychological and philosophical insights, implicit in his novels and poetry, on which his new community would be based.
In a letter to Russell dated December 8, 1915, Lawrence put forth his idea that there is a seat of consciousness in man other than the brain and the nervous system: "There is a blood-consciousness, which exists in us independently of the ordinary mental consciousness." For Lawrence, the tragedy of modern life was that "the mental and nerve consciousness exerts a tyranny over the blood-consciousness, and that will has gone over completely to the mental consciousness and is engaged in the destruction of blood-being or blood-consciousness." In this letter, as in the novels and poems he wrote at the time, Lawrence stressed the importance of the male-female "sexual connection" in rousing the blood-consciousness of the individual. "Blood knowledge comes either through the mother or through the sex," he declared. Lawrence formulated these ideas systematically in Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious and Fantasia of the Unconscious, along with his theories about male-female relationships and the nature of women.
When he was writing The Rainbow and Women in Love, Lawrence declared in a letter of April 17, 1913: "I can only write what I feel pretty strongly about: and that, at present, is the relation between men and women. After all, it is the problem of today, the establishment of a new relation, or the readjustment of the old one, between men and women." In Psychoanalysis Lawrence emphasized the importance of integrity to the individual, the couple, and society: "A soul cannot come into its own through that love alone which is unison. If it stress the one mode, the sympathetic mode, beyond a certain point, it breaks its own integrity, and corruption sets in in the living organism. On both planes of love, upper and lower, the two modes must act complementary to one another, the sympathetic and the separatist. It is the absolute failure to see this that has torn the modern world into two halves, the one half warring for the voluntary, objective, separatist control, the other for the pure sympathetic. The individual psyche divided against itself divides the world against itself and an unthinkable progress of calamity ensues unless there be a reconciliation." Lawrence further cautioned in Fantasia that "sex as an end in itself is a disaster: a vice. But the ideal purpose which has no roots in the deep sea of passionate sex is a greater disaster still. And now we have only these two things: sex as a fatal goal, which is the essential theme of modern tragedy: or ideal purpose as a deadly parasite." The only solution, according to Lawrence, is "to keep the sexes pure. And by pure we don't mean an ideal sterile innocence and similarity between boy and girl. We mean pure maleness in a man, pure femaleness in a woman…. Women and men are dynamically different in everything."
Such statements, together with Lawrence's presentation of women and of sexuality in his fiction, have provoked conflicting points of view on his basic attitudes to women. Indeed, wrote Hilary Simpson in D. H. Lawrence and Feminism, "attacks on Lawrence's misogyny and praise for his sensitive portrayals of femininity have coexisted since the inception of the critical debate." Anaïs Nin thought that Lawrence had a "complete realization of the feelings of women. In fact, very often he wrote as a woman would write." In Nin's opinion, expressed in D. H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study, it was "the first time that a man has so wholly and completely expressed woman accurately." However, in Son of Woman, Murry expressed another view of Lawrence's aim in both art and life: "to annihilate the female insatiably demanding physical satisfaction from the man who cannot give it her—the female who has thus annihilated him." Kate Millet less personally attacked Lawrence in Sexual Politics as "a counterrevolutionary sexual politician." Even though Lawrence often chose a female as the main protagonist in his fiction, such as Ursula in The Rainbow or Kate in The Plumed Serpent, Faith Pullin complained in Lawrence and Women that "Lawrence is an extremely egotistical writer. In his portraits of women, he is usually defining some aspect of himself, rather than attempting the creation of the other sex. Many critics have argued that Lawrence was the androgynous artist and therefore attuned to the inner experience of both sexes…. [But his] main object was always to examine the male psyche and to use his women characters to that end." Implicitly disagreeing in the same book, Smith saw such female identification as going back deep into Lawrence's childhood and suggested that "his physical weakness as a child caused him to be cast in a feminine role, by himself perhaps as much as by others." Simpson, who noted the "extent to which Lawrence used women as actual or potential collaborators, and women's writing as source material," cited as examples, among others, his borrowing of Helen Corke's diaries to write The Trespasser and his collaboration with the Australian writer Mollie Skinner on The Boy in the Bush (1924). In a further essay from Lawrence and Women, Moore theorized that "Lawrence regarded love—and women—in a way that can only be called religious." Moore added that the woman who knew Lawrence best, Frieda Lawrence, commented, "In his heart of hearts, I think he always dreaded women, felt that they were in the end more powerful than men."
The related idea of male friendship preoccupied Lawrence as well: "Friendship should be a rare, choice, immortal thing, sacred and inviolable as marriage. Marriage and deathless friendship, both should be inviolable and sacred: two great creative passions, separate, apart, but complementary: the one pivotal, the other adventurous: the one, marriage, the centre of human life; and the other, the leap ahead." So Lawrence proposed in an essay of the period, "Education of the People," published only after his death in Phoenix. He explored the passion of male friendship most fully in Women in Love, in the relationship of Rupert Birkin and Gerald Crich. In Son of Woman, Murry equated Lawrence with his character Birkin, labeling both "phallic failures." As Moore reported in The Priest of Love, although Murry later denied that "what is generally understood by the word homosexuality" applied to Lawrence, the suspicions he aroused have persisted. In his biography of Lawrence, Moore dismissed, as Frieda had, what he termed "the common charge of homosexuality" against him and suggested instead that he manifested a "compensatory urge, an identification of a frail body with a strong, through a vicarious athleticism."
These concerns shaped the themes, symbols, and relationships depicted in Lawrence's mature fiction and poetry. Schorer pointed out that the struggle of mental versus blood consciousness manifests itself in Lawrence's mature fiction. In Women in Love, for example, it appears as a battle between "Will" and "Being" and between an impulse for death on the one hand and life on the other. "Will"—which may be either sensual or spiritual, a death impulse in either case—said Schorer, "fights 'Being,' that integration of total self which is life. Will is the integration of the drive of the ego toward power, toward domination; it has its inverse in the desire to be overpowered, to be dominated, to yield everything to dissolution. Will is mechanical, and its symbol is therefore the machine; its historical and social embodiment is an industrial society that lives by war. Being is the integration of life forces in total and complete self-responsibility. Its historical embodiment lives in the future."
"In comparison with what came before and after, the works of the period between the war and Lawrence's arrival in America are clearly of a lower order," contended Keith Sagar in The Art of D. H. Lawrence. "It is widely accepted that the full-length novels of the period—The Lost Girl, Aaron's Rod, and Kangaroo—are inferior to The Rainbow and Women in Love." Ironically, as Moore pointed out in The Priest of Love, The Lost Girl, brought Lawrence "the only official recognition he ever received during his lifetime: the James Tait Black Prize of Edinburgh University."
Aaron's Rod, Kangaroo, and The Plumed Serpent, most of which Lawrence wrote in a month while living in Mexico, comprise the "leadership" novels, or "novels of power," as Meyers called them. In them, Lawrence, soured by his experience of war, expressed "scorn for the degenerate mob, hatred of socialism and revolution, belief in discipline, respect for authority, and admiration for a strong and physically attractive leader." Such attitudes led Bertrand Russell and scholars like William York Tindall to regard Lawrence as sympathetic to fascism. Yet, as Meyers pointed out, Lawrence soon revised his desire for a "natural aristocracy" in which "he who is most alive, intrinsically, is King." Lawrence admitted, "I've hated democracy since the war. But now see I'm wrong calling for an aristocracy. What we want is a flow of life from one to another." Meyers refuted the claim that Lawrence shared any sympathy with the Adolf Hitlers and Benito Mussolinis of the world: "The ideas that grew out of the war were certainly antidemocratic, for Lawrence was an elitist who despised the ignorant masses. But they were not Fascist: that totalitarian, nationalistic and racist movement, founded in Milan in 1919, did not yet exist when Lawrence first formulated his ideas." Moreover, as Meyers argued, Lawrence renounced his belief in leadership and authority and radically changed his political ideas in the last five years of his life.
Early in his career, in a letter dated February 9, 1914, Lawrence regretted that "in England, people have got the loathsome superior knack of refusing to consider me a poet at all. 'Your prose is so good,' say the kind fools, 'that we are obliged to forgive you your poetry.' How I hate them." "The claim that Lawrence is a poet of real stature is still contentious," Sagar declared in The Art of D. H. Lawrence. In The Double Agent: Essays in Craft and Elucidation, R. P. Blackmur saw in Lawrence's verse "the ruin of great intentions"; he found it flawed by the "fallacy of the faith in expressive form." Vivian de Sola Pinto admitted in his introduction to Lawrence's Complete Poems that "like [William] Wordsworth, [Lawrence] wrote a good deal of bad poetry." Nevertheless, he saw even Lawrence's "bad poems" as important because "they are the experiments of a major poet groping his way towards the discovery of a new kind of poetic art." Salgado commented in A Preface to Lawrence: "The fact that Lawrence is without question a great poetic novelist has had the unfortunate effect that his poetry has been either neglected, patronized, or dismissed. With the exception of anthology pieces such as 'Snake' and 'Piano' very few of Lawrence's poems are anything like as well known as they deserve to be."
Lawrence himself, recognizing that his poetry defied the formal conventions of his day, frequently invited his readers to regard it differently from other poetry. In the published preface to Collected Poems, he warned that the poems "hang together in a life," thus encouraging the reader to regard them as autobiography. As Aldington said in his introduction to Last Poems and More Pansies,"With Lawrence the book is not conceived as something made, something apart from the author, but as a prolongation of his own life." Lawrence defended his experiments in verse with a poetic theory that distinguished "poetry of the present" from "poetry of the beginning and poetry of the end." The latter sort of verse manifests "exquisite finality" and "perfection," as he explained in "Poetry of the Present," his introduction to New Poems. Like the poetry of Walt Whitman, he maintained, his own poetry is of the first, or "present," type: it is "never finished. There is no rhythm which returns upon itself, no serpent of eternity with its tail in its own mouth. There is no static perfection." Lawrence wanted to "get rid of stereotyped movements and the old hackneyed associations of sound or sense." He desired to "break the stiff neck of habit" in his verse. As a result, concluded Graham Hough in The Dark Sun: A Study of D. H. Lawrence, Lawrence's poems "are so independent of literary tradition that the ordinary categories will hardly serve us." At its best, Hough affirmed, "no one sensitive to the rhythms of English speech can fail to observe the lovely fluidity of movement" of Lawrence's verse.
At Kiowa Ranch, near Taos, New Mexico, a gift to Frieda from Lawrence's flamboyant patroness Mabel Dodge Luhan, Lawrence completed works that reflected his setting: the novelette St. Mawr and various short stories, among them "The Princess" and "The Woman Who Rode Away." Harris said of the short fiction of this period, that Lawrence's "accomplishments include … carving out a new kind of story in the visionary tales by blending realism and exemplum; and pointing the way out of realism toward fabulation."
Like most of Lawrence's work at the time, St. Mawr and the full-length novel The Plumed Serpent were poorly received by readers in England; the American public and press were more receptive. In reference to the latter book, Sagar wrote in The Art of D. H. Lawrence that The Plumed Serpent "has been mauled by the critics from Frieda, who called it 'desiccated swelled head,' onwards…. The wholesale condem nation it has received is indicative, it seems to me, of far deeper failings in the critics than in the book; a failure in imaginative range and flexibility; a failure to meet the basic critical challenge, the challenge to enter wholly, if only temporarily, into the fictional world." Leavis admitted in D. H. Lawrence: Novelist that he found the book hard to finish, and Eliseo Vivas condemned it in D. H. Lawrence: The Failure and Triumph of Art as propaganda instead of the prophecy Lawrence intended. As reported by Moore in The Priest of Love, Mexican philosopher Jose Vasconcelos praised the novel as "one of the best books of fantasy ever written about Mexico."
Lawrence spent most of his last five years in Italy, near Florence, and in southern France, where he died. His steadily deteriorating health altered his habits little: he traveled frequently, changed residences many times, and wrote as prolifically as ever. He also translated several works from Italian into English. During this time he composed some of his most famous short stories, among them "The Rocking Horse Winner," "Sun," and "The Man Who Loved Islands." Venting his spleen against the censors and critics of his work, he delighted in writing the satiric poems collected in Pansies and Nettles. In addition, he extensively revised the early poetry for inclusion in Collected Poems, arranging it to tell the story of his creative urge, which he personified as his "demon." Several important manuscripts survived him, in particular, those published as Last Poems, Etruscan Places, and the religious treatise Apocalypse (1932). For the most part, however, Lawrence limited himself to shorter forms, often dashing off reviews of books and articles on diverse topics for the income they brought him. He also took up painting again, which he found less taxing than writing. Nevertheless, he found the time and energy to compose two longer fictional works, Lady Chatterley's Lover and The Escaped Cock.
Indeed, Lawrence not only wrote three versions of Lady Chatterley's Lover, he also arranged for the private printing and distribution of the unexpurgated edition. Unlike most of Lawrence's books, it sold briskly and made money for him. Yet, as Squires and Jackson pointed out, "unable to obtain a copyright, Lawrence watched, helpless at first, as pirated editions appeared—and profits disappeared. Not until May 1929 did he combat the pirates with his inexpensive Paris edition of the novel."
Even more than The Rainbow, Lady Chatterley's Lover has been the subject of intense controversy. Until 1959 and 1960 respectively the unexpurgated edition of the novel could not be legally published and distributed in the United States and England. Critical debate has been intense since it first appeared. In D. H. Lawrence: Novelist, Leavis classed it among Lawrence's "lesser novels" because of its "offenses against taste." According to Squires and Jackson: "Its literary reputation is not yet secure; the scent of pornography clings. Too, a novelist's early work often seems more accessible to readers than does the late work, which is typically darker, more complex, more deeply shaded with ideology."
Recalling his earlier statements on blood-knowledge, Lawrence explained the ideas that shaped the novel in "A Propos of 'Lady Chatterley's Lover'": "In fact, thought and action, word and deed are two separate lives which we lead. We need, very sincerely, to keep a connection … and this is the real point of the book. I want men and women to be able to think sex, fully, completely, honestly and cleanly…. Life is only bearable when the mind and body are in harmony, and there is a natural balance between them, and each has a natural respect for the other." Lawrence maintained here, as he had earlier, that dependence on mental knowledge to the exclusion of blood-knowledge leads to most of the "tragedies" of the modern world, chiefly a "mechanization" of life. Far from being obscene, Lady Chatterley's Lover celebrates the creative power of togetherness, "which is religious and poetic," he asserted.
In The World of the Major Novels, Scott Sanders agreed with Lawrence's assessment: "In tracing the sources of human violence to the desire for mastery and the illusion of separateness, Lawrence was echoing a view common to many of the world's religions." Put briefly, Sanders wrote, what the characters of the novel and all modern people confront is "the choice between the way of power and the way of love…. What we are shown in the history of Lady Chatterley's loving is the education of one woman's consciousness…. In proportion as we are drawn into her loving and altered by it, we are forced to realize along with her that there is no ultimate basis for distinctions between classes, between races, between nations, or between humankind and the rest of nature."
In his introduction to Selected Letters of D. H. Lawrence, Aldous Huxley quoted part of a letter written by Lawrence on February 24, 1913, at the start of his writing career: "I often feel one ought to be able to pray before one works—and then leave it to the Lord. Isn't it hard work to come to real grips with one's imagination—throw everything overboard. I always feel as though I stood naked for the fire of Almighty God to go through me—and it's rather an awful feeling. One has to be so terribly religious to be an artist." Huxley, who knew Lawrence well in the last years of his life, commented, "Conversely, he might have added, one has to be terribly an artist, terribly conscious of 'inspiration' and the compelling force of genius, to be religious as Lawrence was religious."
Religious themes, symbols, and allusions occur throughout Lawrence's work, but especially at the end.
Impounded during the London exhibition in 1928 for indecency and immorality, Lawrence's paintings often evidence, in fact, religious themes; he regarded these works as sacred, as his frequent references to them in letters make plain. The Escaped Cock, a story of resurrection, and Apocalypse, which Lawrence worked on during the last months of his life, treat religious topics explicitly. The story of the risen Christ who in his wanderings meets and mates with the goddess Isis exemplifies many of the ideas set forth in Apocalypse. In his introduction to that book, Aldington admitted that "from the point of view of scholars Lawrence's book may be quite worthless as an interpretation of the Book of Revelation." He found it interesting "not as the revelation of John of Patmos, but as the revelation of Lawrence." In Apocalypse as in The Escaped Cock, Lawrence condemned all religion at the time of Christ as having turned from "the old worship and study of vitality, potency, power, to the study of death and death-rewards, death-penalties, and morals. All religion, instead of being a religion of life, here and now, became a religion of postponed destiny, death, and reward afterwards, 'if you are good.'" In his last works, including his poems and paintings and many of his shorter pieces, the underlying message matches that of Apocalypse: "What we want is to destroy our false, inorganic connections, especially those related to money, and reestablish the living organic connection, with the cosmos, the sun and earth, with mankind and nation and family." The Etruscan people, revealed to Lawrence through their art and architecture, summed up his conception of life, according to Aldington in the introduction to Apocalypse: "Nations of men and women living an intense, physical life without too much intellect and hatred. And in Etruria at any rate the women enjoyed great liberty and consideration, while the idea of sex and sexual desire as shameful things had never been thought of."
Because of his rapidly deteriorating physical condition, Lawrence reluctantly agreed to hospital care one month before he died; he entered a sanatorium near Vence, in southern France. In The Priest of Love Moore revealed that Lawrence's doctor, commenting on his famous patient's refusal to rest, even when hospitalized, said that "those very qualities which gave Lawrence such keen perception and such passionate feeling made it quite impossible for him to submit for any length of time to a restricted sanatorium existence." "I'm better in a house," Lawrence wrote in a letter dated February 21, 1930. The day before he died, he dragged himself from the nursing home to a rented villa and died there during the evening of March 2, 1930. Although Lawrence was buried in Vence, five years later Frieda arranged for the cremation of his remains, which she then transported to Kiowa Ranch. They are interred in the small chapel Frieda built to hold them and that she decorated with Lawrence's personal symbol: the rising phoenix.
Since his death, several of Lawrence's rough drafts and early versions of later published works have been found and published. One example is Mr. Noon, which combines fictional elements with travel writing in an autobiographical story about an English man's illicit affair with a married German woman and their travels through Italy. Not discovered until 1972, the story was finally published in 1984. Quetzalcoatl, meanwhile, represents an early version of Lawrence's 1926 novel The Plumed Serpent. Critics noted that the early version is significantly different than the highly mythical and theoretical finished story.
More important than these rough manuscripts is the voluminous correspondence Lawrence produced during his brief life. Totaling more than 5,500 letters, the collection was published in seven volumes by Cambridge University Press. The letters reveal the author's keen interest in his business affairs; his tender relations with his two sisters; his wanderings of America and Europe during the 1920s; and the enormous battle he waged against tuberculosis during the final years of his life, as he gradually realized that he would not live very long. Indeed, during these final years, Lawrence's letters represent a significant portion of his literary output, leading some critics to define the collected letters as one of his major works. Modern Language Review contributor Philip Hobsbaum, for instance, noted that the letters mark Lawrence as, next to Lord Byron, "the best correspondent in the language." Similarly, Times Literary Supplement reviewer Valentine Cunningham commented, "This collection, surely, ranks among the very best gatherings of modern literary letters." Lawrence biographer John Worthen, writing in the Spectator, concluded that the seven volumes of letters "stand clear now as perhaps Lawrence's single greatest achievement as a writer."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Aldington, Richard, Portrait of a Genius, But …, Heinemann (London, England), 1950.
Balbert, Peter, D. H. Lawrence and the Phallic Imagination, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1989.
Beal, Anthony, D. H. Lawrence, Oliver & Boyd (London, England), 1961.
Becket, Fiona, D. H. Lawrence: The Thinker As Poet, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1997.
Blackmur, R. P., The Double Agent: Essays in Craft and Elucidation, Arrow Editions, 1935.
Brett, Dorothy, Lawrence and Brett: A Friendship, Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1933.
Brewster, Earl, and Achsah Brewster, D. H. Lawrence: Reminiscences and Correspondence, M. Secker (London, England), 1934.
Britton, Derek, Lady Chatterley: The Making of the Novel, Unwin Hyman (London, England), 1988.
Bynner, Witter, Journey with Genius: Recollections and Reflections concerning the D. H. Lawrences, J. Day, 1951.
Carswell, Catherine, The Savage Pilgrimage, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1932.
Cavitch, David, D. H. Lawrence and the New World, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1969.
Chambers, Jessie (under pseudonym E. T.) D. H. Lawrence: A Personal Record, J. Cape (London, England), 1935.
Clarke, Colin, River of Dissolution: D. H. Lawrence and English Romanticism, Routledge & Kegan Paul (London, England), 1969.
Clark, L. D., Dark Night of the Body, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 1964.
Clark, L. D., The Minoan Distance: The Symbolism of Travel in D. H. Lawrence, University of Arizona Press (Tucson, AZ), 1980.
Corke, Helen, Lawrence and Apocalypse, Heinemann (London, England), 1933.
Corke, Helen, D. H. Lawrence's Princess: A Memory of Jessie Chambers, Merle Press, 1951.
Corke, Helen, D. H. Lawrence: The Croydon Years, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 1965.
Cowan, James C., editor, D. H. Lawrence: An Annotated Bibliography of Writings about Him, 1982.
Cushman, Keith, D. H. Lawrence at Work: The Emergence of "The Prussian Officer" Stories, University Press of Virginia, 1978.
Cushman, Keith, and Jackson, Dennis, editors, D. H. Lawrence's Literary Inheritors, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1991.
Daleski, H. M., The Forked Flame: A Study of D. H. Lawrence, Faber (London, England), 1965.
Delany, Paul, D. H. Lawrence's Nightmare: The Writer and His Circle during the Years of the Great War, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1978.
Delavenay, Emile, D. H. Lawrence: The Man and His Work; The Formative Years, 1885-1919, Heinemann (London, England), 1972.
Dictionary of Literary Biography, Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 10: Modern British Dramatists, 1900-1945, two volumes, 1982, Volume 19: British Poets, 1880-1914, 1983, Volume 36: British Novelists, 1890-1929: Modernists, 1985, Volume 162: British Short-Fiction Writers, 1915-1945, 1996.
Draper, R. P., editor, D. H. Lawrence: The Critical Heritage, Routledge & Kegan Paul (London, England), 1970.
Driskill, Richard T., Madonnas and Christs, Maidens and Knights: Sexual Confusion in the Bildungsromans of D. H. Lawrence and André Gide, P. Lang (New York, NY), 1997.
Dyer, Geoff, Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling with D. H. Lawrence, North Point Press, 1998.
Eggert, Paul, and John Worthen, Lawrence and Comedy, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1996.
Ellis, David, D. H. Lawrence, Dying Game, 1922-1930, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1997.
Engelhardt, Dorthe G. A., L. N. Tolstoy and D. H. Lawrence: Cross-Currents and Influence, P. Lang (New York, NY), 1996.
Farr, Judith, editor, Twentieth-Century Interpretations of "Sons and Lovers": A Collection of Critical Essays, Prentice-Hall (New York, NY), 1970.
Feinstein, Elaine, Lawrence and the Women: The Intimate Life of D. H. Lawrence, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1993.
Ford, George H., Double Measure: A Study of the Novels and Stories of D. H. Lawrence, Holt (New York, NY), 1965.
Franks, Jill, Revisionist Resurrection Mythologies: A Study of D. H. Lawrence's Italian Works, P. Lang (New York, NY), 1994.
Freeman, Mary, D. H. Lawrence: A Basic Study of His Ideas, University of Florida Press, 1955.
Gilbert, Sandra M., Acts of Attention: The Poems of D. H. Lawrence, Cornell University Press (Cornell, NY), 1972.
Goodheart, Eugene, The Utopian Vision of D. H. Lawrence, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1983.
Green, Martin, The von Richthofen Sisters: The Triumphant and the Tragic Modes of Love: Else and Frieda von Richthofen, Otto Gross, Mar Weber, and D. H. Lawrence, in the Years 1870-1970, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1974.
Gregory, Horace, Pilgrim of the Apocalypse, Viking (New York, NY), 1933.
Hagen, Patricia L., Metaphor's Way of Knowing: The Poetry of D. H. Lawrence and the Church of Mechanism, P. Lang (New York, NY), 1995.
Hamalian, Leo, D. H. Lawrence and Nine Women Writers, Associated University Presses, 1996.
Harris, Janice Hubbard, The Short Fiction of D. H. Lawrence, Rutgers University Press, 1984.
Hochman, Baruch, Another Ego: The Changing View of the Self and Society in the Work of D. H. Lawrence, University of South Carolina Press, 1970.
Hoffman, Frederick J., and Harry T. Moore, editors, The Achievement of D. H. Lawrence, University of Oklahoma Press (Norman, OK), 1953.
Holbrook, David, Where D. H. Lawrence Was Wrong about Woman, Bucknell University Press, 1992.
Hough, Graham, The Dark Sun: A Study of D. H. Lawrence, Duckworth (London, England), 1956.
Howe, Marguerite Beede, The Art of the Self in D. H. Lawrence, Ohio University Press, 1977.
Joost, Nicholas and Alvin Sullivan, D. H. Lawrence and the Dial, Southern Illinois University Press (Carbondale, IL), 1970.
Kalnins, Mara, editor, D. H. Lawrence: Centenary Essays, Bristol Classical Press, 1986.
Kearney, Martin F., The Major Short Stories of D. H. Lawrence: A Handbook, Garland (New York, NY), 1998.
Kermode, Frank, D. H. Lawrence, Viking (New York, NY), 1973.
Kinkead-Weekes, Mark, D. H. Lawrence: Triumph to Exile, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1996.
Kinkead-Weekes, Mark, editor, Twentieth-Century Interpretations of "The Rainbow": A Collection of Critical Essays, Prentice-Hall (New York, NY), 1971.
LaChapelle, Dolores, D. H. Lawrence: Future Primitive, University of North Texas Press, 1996.
Lawrence, Ada, and G. Stuart Gelder, Young Lorenzo: The Early Life of D. H. Lawrence, G. Orioli (Florence, Italy), 1932.
Lawrence, D. H., Last Poems and More Pansies, introduction by Richard Aldington, G. Orioli (Florence, Italy), 1932.
Lawrence, D. H., Selected Letters, introduction by Aldous Huxley, Penguin (Harmondworth, England), 1950, reprinted, 1996.
Lawrence, D. H., Complete Poems, introduction by Vivian de Sola Pinto, Heinemann (London, England), 1967.
Lawrence, Frieda, Not I, but the Wind, Rydal Press, 1934.
Leavis, F. R., D. H. Lawrence: Novelist, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1955.
Leavis, F. R., Thought, Words, and Creativity: Art and Thought in Lawrence, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1976.
Lewiecki-Wilson, Cynthia, Writing against the Family: Gender in Lawrence and Joyce, Southern Illinois University Press (Carbondale, IL), 1994.
Luhan, Mabel Dodge, Lorenzo in Taos, Knopf (New York, NY), 1932.
Mandell, Gail Porter, The Phoenix Paradox: A Study of Renewal through Change in the "Collected Poems" and "Last Poems" of D. H. Lawrence, Southern Illinois University Press (Carbondale, IL), 1984.
Marshall, Tom, The Psychic Mariner: A Reading of the Poems of D. H. Lawrence, Viking (New York, NY), 1970.
McDonald, Edward D., A Bibliography of the Writings of D. H. Lawrence, Centaur, 1925.
Meyers, Jeffrey, D. H. Lawrence: A Biography, Knopf (New York, NY), 1990.
Meyers, Jeffrey, D. H. Lawrence and the Experience of Italy, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982.
Meyers, Jeffrey, editor, D. H. Lawrence and Tradition, Athlone (London, England), 1985.
Meyers, Jeffrey, editor, The Legacy of D. H. Lawrence, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1987.
Miko, Stephen J., editor, Twentieth-Century Interpretations of "Women in Love": A Collection of Critical Essays, Prentice-Hall (New York, NY), 1969.
Miller, Henry, The World of Lawrence: A Passionate Appreciation, John Calder, 1996.
Millet, Kate, Sexual Politics, Abacus, 1972.
Montgomery, Robert E., The Visionary D. H. Lawrence: Beyond Philosophy and Art, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1994.
Moore, Harry T., editor, A D. H. Lawrence Miscellany, Southern Illinois University Press (Carbondale, IL), 1959.
Moore, Harry T., The Intelligent Heart, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1954.
Moore, Harry T., The Life and Works of D. H. Lawrence, Twayne (New York, NY), 1951.
Moore, Harry T., Poste Restant: A Lawrence Travel Calendar, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1956.
Moore, Harry T., The Priest of Love: A Life of D. H. Lawrence, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1974.
Murfin, Ross C., The Poetry of D. H. Lawrence: Texts and Contexts, University of Nebraska Press, 1983.
Murry, John Middleton, Son of Woman: The Story of D. H. Lawrence, J. Cape (London, England), 1931.
Murry, John Middleton, Reminiscences of D. H. Lawrence, J. Cape (London, England), 1933.
Nehls, Edward, D. H. Lawrence: A Composite Biography, University of Wisconsin Press (Madison, WI), Volume I, 1957, Volume II, 1958, Volume III, 1959.
Nin, Anaïs, D. H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study, Edward W. Titus, 1932.
Niven, Alastair, D. H. Lawrence: The Novels, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, England), 1978.
Oates, Joyce Carol, The Hostile Sun: The Poetry of D. H. Lawrence, Black Sparrow Press, 1973.
Panichas, George, Adventure in Consciousness: The Meaning of D. H. Lawrence's Religious Quest, Mouton (Hague, Netherlands), 1964.
Partlow, Robert B., Jr., and Harry T. Moore, editors, D. H. Lawrence: The Man Who Lived, Southern Illinois University Press (Carbondale, IL), 1980.
Pinion, Frank, A D. H. Lawrence Companion, Macmillan (London, England), 1978.
Pinto, Vivian de Sola, D. H. Lawrence: Prophet of the Midlands, University of Nottingham (Nottingham, England), 1951.
Poplawski, Paul, Language, Art and Reality in D. H. Lawrence's "St. Mawr": A Stylistic Study, Edwin Mellen Press (Lewiston, NY), 1996.
Poplawski, Paul and John Worthen, D. H. Lawrence: A Reference Companion, Greenwood Press (New York, NY), 1996.
Preston, Peter, A D. H. Lawrence Chronology, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1994.
Pritchard, R. E., D. H. Lawrence: Body of Darkness, Hutchinson University Library (London, England), 1971.
Rice, Thomas Jackson, D. H. Lawrence: A Guide to Research, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1983.
Roberts, Warren, A Bibliography of D. H. Lawrence, Hart-Davis, 1963, revised edition, 1982.
Rolph, C. H., editor, The Trial of Lady Chatterley, Penguin (London, England), 1961.
Ross, Charles, The Composition of "The Rainbow" and "Women in Love," University Press of Virginia, 1979.
Rylance, Rick, editor, Sons and Lovers, St. Martin's Press, 1996.
Sagar, Keith, The Art of D. H. Lawrence, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, England), 1966.
Sagar, Keith, D. H. Lawrence: A Calendar of His Works, Manchester University Press (Manchester, England), 1979.
Sagar, Keith, The Life of D. H. Lawrence, Methuen (London, England), 1980.
Sagar, Keith, editor, A D. H. Lawrence Handbook, Barnes & Noble, 1982.
Salgado, Gamini, D. H. Lawrence: "Sons and Lovers," Edward Arnold, 1966.
Salgado, Gamini, A Preface to Lawrence, Longman (London, England), 1982.
Salgado, Gamini, and G. K. Das, editors, The Spirit of D. H. Lawrence: Centenary Studies, Macmillan (London, England), 1988.
Sanders, Scott, The World of the Major Novels, Viking (New York, NY), 1973.
Scherr, Berry J., D. H. Lawrence's Response to Plato: A Bloomian Interpretation, P. Lang (New York, NY), 1995.
Short Story Criticism, Volume 4, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1990.
Simpson, Hilary, editor., D. H. Lawrence and Feminism, Northern Illinois University Press, 1982.
Smith, Anne, editor, Lawrence and Women, Vision, 1978.
Spender, Stephen, editor, D. H. Lawrence: Novelist, Poet, Prophet, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1973.
Spilka, Mark, The Love Ethic of D. H. Lawrence, Indiana University Press, 1955.
Spilka, Mark, editor, D. H. Lawrence: A Collection of Critical Essays, Prentice-Hall (New York, NY), 1963.
Squires, Michael, The Creation of "Lady Chatterley's Lover," Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1983.
Squires, Michael, and Dennis Jackson, editors, D. H. Lawrence's "Lady": A New Look at "Lady Chatterley's Lover," University of Georgia Press, 1985.
Srivastava, U. N., Symbolism in the Novels of D. H. Lawrence, [Delhi, India], 1994.
Tedlock, E. W., Jr., The Frieda Lawrence Collection of D. H. Lawrence Manuscripts, University of New Mexico Press, 1948.
Tedlock, E. W., Jr., Frieda Lawrence: The Memoirs and Correspondence, Heinemann (London, England), 1961.
Tedlock, E. W., Jr., D. H. Lawrence, Artist and Rebel: A Study of Lawrence's Fiction, University of New Mexico Press, 1963.
Tedlock, E. W., Jr., D. H. Lawrence and "Sons and Lovers": Sources and Criticism, New York University Press (New York, NY), 1965.
Tindall, William York, D. H. Lawrence and Susan His Cow, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1939.
Tiverton, Father William (pseudonym of Martin Jarrett-Kerr), D. H. Lawrence and Human Existence, foreword by T. S. Eliot, Rockliff, 1951.
Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 2, 1979, Volume 9, 1983, Volume 16, 1985, Volume 33, 1989, Volume 48, 1993.
Vivas, Eliseo, D. H. Lawrence: The Failure and the Triumph of Art, Northwestern University Press, 1960.
Widmer, Kingsley, The Art of Perversity: D. H. Lawrence's Shorter Fiction, University of Washington Press, 1962.
Widmer, Kingsley, Desire and Negation: Dialectical Legacy of D. H. Lawrence, Southern Illinois University Press (Carbondale, IL), 1991.
Worthen, John, D. H. Lawrence and the Idea of the Novel, Rowman & Littlefield (New York, NY), 1979.
Worthen, John, D. H. Lawrence: The Early Years, 1885-1912, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1991.
Academy, March 18, 1911.
Antioch Review, winter, 1990, p. 114.
Athenaeum, June 1, 1912.
Atlantic, October, 1992.
Cambridge Quarterly, June, 2001, p. 133.
College Literature, fall, 2003, Eric P. Levy, "Ontological Incoherence in Women in Love," p. 156.
Critical Survey, September, 2002, p. 14.
D. H. Lawrence Review.
English Literature in Translation, January, 1991, p. 119; March, 1992, p. 332; January, 1994, p. 114; February, 1994, p. 215.
Essays in Criticism, October, 1971, pp. 347-364.
Explicator, spring, 2002, Hal Blythe, "Lawrence's The Odor of Chrysanthemums," p. 154; fall, 2002, p. 41.
Journal of Modern Literature, summer, 2000, Christopher Pollnitz, "D. H. Lawrence's Last Poems," p. 503; fall, 2001, Erwin R. Steinberg, "D. H. Lawrence: Mythographer," p. 91; summer, 2002, Brad Buchanan, "Oedipus in Dystopia: Freud and Lawrence in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World," p. 75.
London Review of Books, December 5, 1991, p. 14; September 10, 1992, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, March 15, 1987, p. 10; December 27, 1987, p. 2.
Manchester Guardian, July 2, 1913.
Midwest Quarterly, winter, 2002, Jae-Kyung Koh, "D. H. Lawrence's World Vision of Cultural Regeneration in Lady Chatterley's Lover," p.86.
Modern Language Review, July, 1991, p. 685; April, 1993, p. 435.
Mosaic, winter, 1988, pp. 1-11.
Nation, July 12, 1913, April 26, 1947.
Nation and Athenaeum, March 29, 1930.
New England Review, spring, 2003, p. 18.
New Statesman & Society, September 4, 1992, p. 40.
New York Review of Books, April 21, 1994, p. 29; December 5, 2002, Doris Lessing, review of The Fox, p. 18.
New York Times, November 29, 1992.
Observer, June 21, 1987, p. 24; August 30, 1992, p. 50.
Poetry, July, 1913.
Psychoanalytic Review, July, 1916.
Quill & Quire, August, 1987, p. 35.
Renaissance and Modern Studies, Volume 1, 1957.
Review of English Studies, November, 1993, p. 612; February, 2000, John Lyon, review of Women in Love, p. 160; February, 2002, Howard J. Booth, "D. H. Lawrence and Male Homosexual Desire," p. 86; May, 2002, p. 285; August, 2002, p. 461.
Sewanee Review, summer, 2001, Mark Kinkead-Weekes, "D. H. Lawrence: 'A Passionately Religious Man,'" p. 379.
Southern Humanities Review, spring, 1985, pp. 117-131.
Spectator, July 3, 1993, p. 27.
Sphere, October, 1915.
Studies in the Novel, spring, 1990, pp. 67-81; summer, 2000, Alan W. Friedman, "D. H. Lawrence: Pleasure and Death," p. 207; fall, 2002, p. 282.
Times (London, England), March 4, 1930.
Times Literary Supplement, May 29, 1987; October 16, 1987, p. 1142; November 17, 1989, p. 1260; September 13, 1991, p. 12; September 11, 1992, p. 20; July 23, 1993, p. 4; August 11, 1995, p. 23.*