D. H. Lawrence


D. H. Lawrence,(David Herbert Richard Lawrence), novelist, short-story writer, poet and essayist, was born in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, England, on September 11, 1885. The fourth child of Arthur Lawrence a coal miner, who had a fondness for drinking. Lawrence was a sickly child, devoted to his refined but domineering mother, Lydia Beardsall, who insisted upon his education. His mother had been a schoolteacher.
The disparity in social status between his parents was a recurrent motif in Lawrence’s fiction. Lydia Lawrence consciously alienated the children from their father, and told them stories of her early married life (like, for example, the episode when Arthur locked her out of the house at night) which they never forgot, or forgave their father for. All the children apart from the eldest son George grew up with an abiding love for their mother and various kinds of dislike for their father.
Lawrence graduated from the teacher-training course at University College, Nottingham, in 1905 and became a schoolmaster in a London suburb, but illness, and the moderate success of his first novel, The White Peacock in 1911, made him leave teaching and turn to writing.

Picture courtesy:
University of Nottingham
The most significant of his early fiction was Sons and Lovers in 1913, which was in large part autobiographical, deals with life in a mining town.

Better known as a novelist, Lawrence's first-published works in 1909 were poems, and his poetry, especially his evocations of the natural world, have since had a significant influence on many poets on both sides of the Atlantic. His early poems reflect the influence of Ezra Pound and Imagist movement.

He believed in writing poetry that was stark, immediate and true to the mysterious inner force which motivated it. In his more than 40 books Lawrence celebrated his vision of the natural, whole human being, opposing the artificiality of modern industrial society with its dehumanization of life and love. Many of his best-loved poems treat the physical and inner life of plants and animals; others are bitterly satiric and express his outrage at the puritanism. and hypocrisy of conventional Anglo-Saxon society. Lawrence was a rebellious and profoundly polemical writer with radical views, who regarded sex, the primitive subconscious, and nature as cures to what he considered the evils of modern industrialized society.

Lawrence’s novels were misunderstood, however, and attacked and even suppressed because of their frank treatment of sexual matters. Tremendously prolific, his work was often uneven in quality, and he was a continual source of controversy, often involved in widely-publicized censorship.

Known most famously for his novel Lady Chatterley's Lover, which deals with the sexually fulfilling love affair between a member of the nobility and her husband’s gamekeeper. (expurgated edition, 1928; unexpurgated, Paris, 1929, was published privately in Florence, and copies were confiscated in England the next year, it was not published in the UK in unexpurgated form until after a sensational obscenity trial in 1960.) Lawrence’s third and most sexually explicit version of this work was not published until 1959 in the U.S. and 1960 in England. His collections of poetry include Look! We Have Come Through in 1917, a collection of poems about his wife; Birds, Beasts, and Flowers in 1923; and Pansies in 1929, which was banned on publication in England.

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 after her divorce. Their intense, stormy life together supplied material for much of his writing. The Rainbow in 1915 and Women in Love in 1921, perhaps his best novels explore with outspoken candor the sexual and psychological relationships of men and women.
Besides his troubles with the censors, Lawrence was persecuted as well during World War I, for the supposed pro-German sympathies of his wife, Frieda. As a consequence, the Lawrences left England, Tuberculosis added to his problems, and in 1919 he began a period of restless wandering to find a more healthful climate. His travels provided the locales of several books: the Abruzzi region of Italy for The Lost Girl (1920), Sardinia for Sea and Sardinia (1921), and Australia for Kangaroo (1923). During stays in Mexico and Taos, N.Mex. (1923-25), he wrote The Plumed Serpent (1926), a novel reflecting Lawrence’s fascination with Aztec civilization. In Taos, New Mexico, he became the center of a group of female admirers who considered themselves his disciples, and whose quarrels for his attention became a literary legend.

Some of his most original writing occurs in his poems, notably Birds, Beasts and Flowers (1923), and in his Letters (7 vols, 1979-93). His other major novels include Aaron's Rod, Kangaroo, and The Plumed Serpent, and his collected poems were published in 1928. Many films have been made from his fiction, notably by Ken Russell.

Ranked among the most influential and controversial literary figures of the 20th century and known as one of the primary shapers of 20th-century fiction.
His health continued to deteriorate and Lawrence returned to Europe with Frieda in 1925. During his last years Lawrence spent much of his time in Italy making only brief visits to England, the last in 1926. Lawrence died March 2, 1930, in a sanitarium at the age of 45 in Vence, near Nice, of tuberculosis, a disease with which he had struggled for years.

Whales Weep Not
Self Pity
All I Ask
My Naughty Book


To view more of Lawrence's poems:
Famous Poets and Poems

For more detailed infomation on D. H. Lawrence visit:
University of Nottingham


Some more of his poems includes:

Adolf (short story), Rex (short story), Pan in America (essay), Amores, Baby Tortoise, How Beastly the Bourgeois Is, New Poems, Nothing to Save, The Elephant is Slow to Mate, The White Horse, Trees in the Garden, Baby Asleep after Pain, A Love Song, A Passing Bell, A Sane Revolution, A Spiritual Woman ,A Winter's Tale, A Youth Mowing, After Many Days, Anxiety, At the Window, Ballad of Another Ophelia, Bat, Beautiful Old Age, Belief, Birdcage Walk, Blue, Brother and Sister, Conceit, Conundrums, Discipline, Dissolute, Drunk, Firelight and Nightfall, Green, Grey Evening ,If You are a Man, In a Boat, Intimates, Liaison, Lies About Love, Mating, Meeting Among the Mountains, Monologue of a Mother, Mystery, Patience, Piano, Reproach,Scent of Irises, Search for Truth,Silence,Snake, Sorrow, Study, Submergence, Tease, The Bride, The Deepest Sensuality, The Inheritance, The Mystic Blue, The Prophet, The Punisher, The Ship of Death, The Song of a Man Who has Come Through, The Virgin Mother, The Wild Common, Thought, To Women As Far As I'm Concerned, Tortoise Shell, Troth with the Dead, Virgin Youth, We are Transmitters, Week-Night Service, Willy Wet-Leg, Worm Either Way,


Aaron's Rod, Complete Short Stories, The Boy in the Bush, The Captain's Doll, The Lost Girl, The Man Who Died, The Rainbow, The Short Novels, The Trespasser, The White Peacock, Women in Love.


[Poet's Corner Index]


Reference, Research and Source Information

The History Channel
University of Nottingham

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