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 ?
A FIRST edition of a DH Lawrence novel is expected to sell for more than EUR28,000 because of its dust jacket.
A COUNTRY house that inspired the raunchy DH Lawrence novel Lady Chatterley's Lover has gone on sale for PS1million.
1930: Novelist DH Lawrence died in France of tuberculosis.
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.
Past award winners have included DH Lawrence, EM Forster, Evelyn Waugh, Iris Murdoch and Graham Greene.
Marion Husband writes in crisp prose laden with telling images, such as the market stall pole "clattering to the pavement with a din like broken church bells", although, like DH Lawrence, she calls a spade a spade in describing scenes of intimacy.
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.
BORN DH Lawrence, English writer, 1885 HARRY Connick Jr, US singer, 1967, above ROGER Uttley, UK rugby player, 1949 DIED IAN Porterfield, footballer, 2007, above NIKITA Khrushchev, Soviet leader, 1971 PETER Tosh, reggae T star, 1987
Prof Boulton became very closely associated with controversial 20th-century novelist, poet and playwright, DH Lawrence.
pounds 500 - DH Lawrence wrote about which lady and her lover?
Onthisday 1930: Novelist DH Lawrence died in France of tuberculosis.
ONE of the most celebrated marriages in modern literary history, the relationship between the author DH Lawrence and Frieda von Richthofen has long fascinated student and scholar, not least due to its tumultuous nature.