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 D. Trilling, ed., Portable D. H. Lawrence (1947), complete poems ed. by V. De Sola Pinto and F. W. Roberts (1977), and selected essays ed. by G. Dyer (2019); collected letters ed. by H. T. Moore (1962); 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 Cambridge biography by J. Worthen (Vol. I, 1991), M. Kinkead-Weekes (Vol. II, 1996), and D. Ellis (Vol III., 1998); B. Maddox, D. H. Lawrence: The Story of a Marriage (1994); 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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References in periodicals archive ?
In 1926, D.H. Lawrence moved to Villa Mirenda, near San Polo Mosciano on the outskirts of Florence (Fig.
"Mr Noon," a previously unpublished essay originally intended for D.H. Lawrence: Life into Art, covers the novel rather concisely.
Mazel supplements these essays, written by authors such as D.H. Lawrence, Mary Woolley and Mark Van Doren, with informative and entertaining biographical information.
English novelist D.H. Lawrence referred to sex as our culture's "dirty little secret." For Catholics the secret was change.
Deloria discusses D.H. Lawrence's 1924 work of literary criticism, Studies in Classic American Literature, where Lawrence observed that the American identity was "unfinished." Because Americans insisted on retaining their civilized selves while embracing a sense of "savage freedom," Lawrence argued, they were unable to achieve a complete sense of self.
Originally dedicated to promoting the work and views of the novelist D.H. Lawrence, and of the editor himself, The Adelphi (from the Greek word for "brothers") attempted to reach readers beyond the traditional upper-class literary circle of the time, although this effort met with little success.
"All those damn little clerks," says a character in a Wells novel of 1901, with "no proud dreams and no proud lusts." The "swarms of black, brown, and dirty-white, and yellow people...have to go." George Bernard Shaw wrote the same way in 1910: "Extermination must be put on scientific basis." And D.H. Lawrence, who in Aaron's Rod (1922) advocated "a proper and healthy and energetic slavery," in 1908 had written presciently, "If I had my way, I would build a lethal chamber as big as the Crystal Palace, with a military band playing softly.
James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and D.H. Lawrence broke new ground in the novel.
Building on the success of Bass Ale's current advertising campaign, the brand is now offering consumers the opportunity to "Exhibit Their Good Taste" by sending away for framed posters featuring two of the campaign's three notable figures -- Friedrich Nietzsche, "Why Does Man Exist?" and D.H. Lawrence, "What is Man's Deepest Desire?"
He edited the poems of D.H. Lawrence (1948) and <IR> CZESLAW MILOSZ </IR> (1973) among others and translated from Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, and classical Greek and Latin.