D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930), English novelist, storywriter, critic, poet and painter, one of the greatest figures in 20th-century English literature. Today, Lawrence, who is one of my all time favorite writers, would have have turned 127 years old. He is best known for his Prose work, such as The Plumed Serpent (1926) or Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928) But He's been a prolific poetry wrtiter aswell. In this post, I'd like to underline this "B" side of one of Britain's most Finest.
David Herbert Lawrence was born on September 11, 1885, in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, central England. He was the fourth child of a struggling coal miner who was a heavy drinker. His mother was a former schoolteacher, greatly superior in education to her husband. Lawrence's childhood was dominated by poverty and friction between his parents. He was educated at Nottingham High School, to which he had won a scholarship. He worked as a clerk in a surgical appliance factory and then for four years as a pupil-teacher. After studies at Nottingham University, Lawrence matriculated at 22 and briefly pursued a teaching career. Lawrence's mother died in 1910; he helped her die by giving her an overdose of sleeping medicine.
In 1909, a number of Lawrence's poems were published by Ford Max Ford in the English Review. The appearance of his first novel, The White Peacock(1911), launched Lawrence into a writing career. In 1912 he met Frieda von Richthofen, the professor Ernest Weekly's wife and fell in love with her. Frieda left her husband and three children, and they eloped to Bavaria. Lawrence's novel Sons and Lovers appeared in 1913 and was based on his childhood . In 1914 Lawrence married Frieda von Richthofen, and traveled with her in several countries. Lawrence's fourth novel, The Rainbow (1915), was about two sisters growing up in the north of England. Lawrence started to write The Lost Girl in Italy. He dropped the novel for some years and rewrote the story in an old Sicilian farmhouse near Taormina in 1920.
During the First World War Lawrence and his wife were unable to obtain passports and were targets of constant harassment from the authorities. They were accused of spying for the Germans and officially expelled from Cornwall in 1917. The Lawrences were not permitted to emigrate until 1919, when their years of wandering began.
Lawrence's best known work is Lady Chatterly's Lover, first published privately in Florence in 1928. It tells of the love affair between a wealthy, married woman, and a man who works on her husband's estate. The book was banned for a time in both UK and the US as pornographic. Lawrence's other novels from the 1920s include Women In Love (1920), a sequel to The Rainbow.
Aaron's Rod (1922) shows the influence of Nietzsche, and in Kangaroo (1923) Lawrence expressed his own idea of a 'superman'. The Plumed Serpent (1926) was a vivid evocation of Mexico and its ancient Aztec religion. The Man Who Died (1929), is a bold story of Christ's Resurrection. Lawrence's non-fiction works include Movements In European History(1921), Psychoanalysis And The Unconscious (1922) and Studies In Classic American Literature (1923).
D.H. Lawrence died in Vence, France on March 2, 1930. He also gained posthumous renown for his expressionistic paintings completed in the 1920s.
Why does the thin grey strand Floating up from the forgotten Cigarette between my fingers, Why does it trouble me?
Ah, you will understand; When I carried my mother downstairs, A few times only, at the beginning Of her soft-foot malady,
I should find, for a reprimand To my gaiety, a few long grey hairs On the breast of my coat; and one by one I let them float up the dark chimney.
Slowly the moon is rising out of the ruddy haze, Divesting herself of her golden shift, and so Emerging white and exquisite; and I in amaze See in the sky before me, a woman I did not know I loved, but there she goes and her beauty hurts my heart; I follow her down the night, begging her not to depart.
WHAT WOULD YOU FIGHT FOR
I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.
Glory is the sun, too, and the sun of suns, and down the shafts of his splendid pinions run tiny rivers of peace.
Most of his time, the tiger pads and slouches in a burning peace. And the small hawk high up turns round on the slow pivot of peace Peace comes from behind the sun, with the peregrine falcon, and the owl. Yet all of these drink blood.
These are a Lecture Series from the Oxford University podcasts website, looking at D.H. Lawrence, author of Women in Love, Sons and Lovers and Lady Chatterley's Lover. These lectures, given by Dr. Catherine Brown, focus on specific aspects of Lawrence's writing; from his use of humour to his views on Christianity.
Sources of Information
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