D. H. Lawrence

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Lawrence, D. H.

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


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 FordFord, Ford Madox,
1873–1939, English author; grandson of Ford Madox Brown. He changed his name legally from Ford Madox Hueffer in 1919. The author of over 60 works including novels, poems, criticism, travel essays, and reminiscences, Ford also edited the
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, 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.


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).


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).

References in periodicals archive ?
Two other rare DH Lawrence books are up for auction on October 28 in London.
The pair were awarded the James Tait Black Prizes, joining the ranks of acclaimed previous recipients such as DH Lawrence, Graham Greene and Muriel Spark.
Pascale Ferran's French film is adapted from John Thomas and Lady Jane, the earlier DH Lawrence story of the landmark novel.
Replicas of paintings by author DH Lawrence are to go on public display, 70 years after they were banned and called an 'outrage upon decency'.
Onthisday 1930: Novelist DH Lawrence died in France of tuberculosis.
It provided inspiration for great writers Lord Byron, DH Lawrence and Alan Sillitoe.
Prior to Ravagli's death in 1976, Bevilacqua and the elderly officer returned to the villa on the Italian Riviera where DH Lawrence and his wife Frieda lodged in the 1920s, where Bevilacqua says Ravagli told him that, with Lawrence's knowledge, he, like Mellors had made love to Frieda in the bushes and undergrowth of the villa.
Leo Tolstoy, Joseph Conrad, DH Lawrence and Scott Fitzgerald are among the artists whose relationships are dissected through personal letters, diaries and memoirs.
1930 - Novelist DH Lawrence died in France of tuberculosis.
Although never quite as famous as Alan Sillitoe, Shelagh Delaney, John Braine and Stan Barstow, Philip Callow wrote prodigiously, embracing novels, biographies and poems, without ever quite escaping the shadows of his hero DH Lawrence.
Its creator, Giancarlo Neri, 49, calls it The Writer - fitting as author DH Lawrence and poets Shelley and Keats all have links with the area.
Here's a mouthwatering prospect - a superb cast, under the direction of Sir Peter Hall, putting on five very different plays by Harold Pinter, Noel Coward, DH Lawrence, Shakespeare and Guiseppe Manfridi.