- NAME: D.H. Lawrence
- OCCUPATION: Journalist, Author, Playwright, Poet
- BIRTH DATE: September 11, 1885
- DEATH DATE: March 02, 1930
- EDUCATION: Nottingham High School, University College of Nottingham
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Eastwood, Essex, England, United Kingdom
- PLACE OF DEATH: Vence, France
- Full Name: David Herbert Lawrence
- AKA: David H. Lawrence
- AKA: D.H. Lawrence
Best Known For
D.H. Lawrence is best known for his infamous novel Lady Chatterley's Lover, which was banned in the United States until 1959, and is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers of the 20th century.
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Critics harshly condemned The Rainbow for its sexual content and the book was soon banned for obscenity.
Feeling betrayed by his country but unable to travel abroad because of World War I, Lawrence retreated to Cornwall at the far southwestern edge of Great Britain. However, the local government considered the presence of a controversial writer and his German wife so near the coast to be a wartime security threat,
and it banished him from Cornwall in 1917. Lawrence spent the next two years moving among friends' apartments. However, despite the tumult of the period, Lawrence managed to publish four volumes of poetry between 1916 and 1919: Amores (1916), Look! We Have Come Through! (1919), New Poems (1918) and Bay: A Book of Poems (1919).
In 1919, with the First World War finally ended, Lawrence once again departed England for Italy. There, he spent two highly enjoyable years traveling around Italy and writing. In 1920, he revised and published Women in Love, which he considered the second half of The Rainbow. He also edited a series of short stories that he had written during the war, which were published under the title My England and Other Stories in 1922.
Determined to fulfill a lifelong dream of traveling to America, in February 1922, Lawrence left Europe and traveled east. By the end of the year—after stays in both Ceylon (modern day Sri Lanka) and Australia—he landed in the United States, settling in Taos, New Mexico. While in New Mexico, Lawrence completed Studies in Classic American Literature, a book of highly regarded and influential literary criticism of great American authors such as Benjamin Franklin, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville.
Excepting brief trips to Mexico, New York and England, Lawrence lived primarily on a ranch in New Mexico until 1927. His works during this time include a novel, Boy in the Bush (1924); a story collection about the American continent, St. Mawr (1925); and another novel, The Plumed Serpent (1926).
Having fallen ill with tuberculosis, Lawrence returned to Italy in 1927. There, in his last great creative burst, he wrote Lady Chatterley's Lover, his best-known and most infamous novel. Published in Italy in 1928, Lady Chatterley's Lover explores in graphic detail the sexual relationship between an aristocratic lady and a working-class man. Due to its graphic content, the book was banned in the United States until 1959, and in England until 1960, when a jury found Penguin Books not guilty of violating Britain's Obscene Publications Act and allowed the company to publish the book.
At the highly publicized British obscenity trial, the prosecuting attorney infamously asked the jurors, "Is it a book that you would have lying around the house? Is it a book you would wish your wife or servants to read?" The jury's decision to allow publication of Lady Chatterley's Lover is considered a turning point in the history of freedom of expression and the open discussion of sex in popular culture. As British poet Philip Larkin quipped in one of his poems, "Sexual intercourse began/In 1963/Between the end of the 'Chatterley' ban/And the Beatles' first LP."
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