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 ?
CELEBRATED: DH Lawrence, who penned works such as Lady Chatterley's Lover, died in 1930 aged 44
Writer Jed Mercurio, 49 - who penned hit police corruption drama Line of Duty - defended the sex scenes saying: "DH Lawrence chose to use a certain type of language in the book because it was groundbreaking.
The James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction has been awarded by the University of Edinburgh since 1919, whose winners in the past include DH Lawrence and EM Forster.
It focuses on the dilemmas facing writers DH Lawrence and Rhys Davies, who are seeking refuge in the faded coastal resort in the South of France.
LADY CHATTERLEY'S LOVER Sun BBC1 9pm An all-star cast features in this new adaptation of DH Lawrence's classic and notoriously controversial novel about love and lust across the class divide in the 1920s.
Women In Love (BBC Four, 9pm) THOSE who have seen Ken Russell's big screen adaptation of the DH Lawrence novel will tell you there is one scene that overwhelms the rest - that which involves Oliver Reed wrestling naked with Alan Bates.
TODAY INDEPENDENCEDAY IN 1930: Novelist DH Lawrence died in France of tuberculosis.
1885: DH Lawrence. English writer, whose works include Lady Chatterley's Lover, Sons and Lovers and The Rainbow.
French drama, adapted from DH Lawrence's novel, starring Marina Hands and Jean-Louis Coullo'ch.
A collection of private papers once owned by author DH Lawrence have been donated to the University of Nottingham, UK which means that the papers will be made available for the public to see, for the first time.
The 1847 tale of thwarted love between Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, set on the Yorkshire moors, pipped classics by Daphne du Maurier, DH Lawrence and Bronte's elder sister Charlotte in the poll.
WITH a cast that includes David Tennant, Rafe Spall and No Angels' Louise Delamere, and a script from Andrew Davies, The Chatterley Affair (BBC4, Monday) is an account of the obscenity trial of DH Lawrence's Lady Chatter-ley's Lover.