Wife Frieda Weekley von Richthofen
D. H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum, 8a Victoria St, Eastwood, Nottingham NG16 3AW, Regno Unito
Durban House Heritage Centre, Mansfield Rd, Eastwood, Nottingham NG16 3DZ, Regno Unito
Nottingham High School, Waverley Mount, Nottingham NG7 4ED, Regno Unito
University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, Regno Unito
Byron Villas, Hampstead, London NW3 1AR, Regno Unito
32 Well Walk, Hampstead, London NW3 1BX, Regno Unito
30 Willoughby Rd, Hampstead, London NW3 1RU, Regno Unito
Rossetti Garden Mansions, The Lodge Cheyne Court, Chelsea, London SW3 5TP, Regno Unito
9 Selwood Terrace, Kensington, London SW7 3AT, Regno Unito
The Tinners Arms, Zennor, Saint Ives TR26 3BY, Regno Unito
Higher Tregerthen, Zennor, Saint Ives TR26 3BP, Regno Unito
D. H. Lawrence House, Vence, Francia
Fontana Vecchia, Via David Herbert Lawrence, 98039 Taormina ME, Italia
Quinta Quetzacoatl, Zaragoza 307, Chapala Centro, 45900 Chapala, Jal., Messico
Westminster Abbey, 20 Deans Yd, Westminster, London SW1P 3PA, Regno Unito
D. H. Lawrence Ranch, Lawrence Ranch Rd, New Mexico, Stati Uniti
David Herbert Lawrence (11 September 1885 – 2 March 1930) was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter. His collected works represent, among other things, an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation. Some of the issues Lawrence explores are sexuality, emotional health, vitality, spontaneity, and instinct.
Lawrence's opinions earned him many enemies and he endured official persecution, censorship, and misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in a voluntary exile he called his "savage pilgrimage". At the time of his death, his public reputation was that of a pornographer who had wasted his considerable talents. E. M. Forster, in an obituary notice, challenged this widely held view, describing him as "the greatest imaginative novelist of our generation." Later, Cambridge critic F. R. Leavis championed both his artistic integrity and his moral seriousness, placing much of Lawrence's fiction within the canonical "great tradition" of the English novel.
While writing Women in Love in Cornwall during 1916–17, Lawrence developed a strong and possibly romantic relationship with a Cornish farmer named William Henry Hocking. Although it is not clear if their relationship was sexual, Frieda said she believed it was. Lawrence's fascination with the theme of homosexuality, which is overtly manifested in Women in Love, could be related to his own sexual orientation. In a letter written during 1913, he writes, "I should like to know why nearly every man that approaches greatness tends to homosexuality, whether he admits it or not ..." He is also quoted as saying, "I believe the nearest I've come to perfect love was with a young coal-miner when I was about 16." However, given his enduring and robust relationship with Frieda it is likely that he was primarily "bi-curious" in the terminology of today, and whether he actually ever had homosexual relations remains an open question.
In late February 1922 the Lawrences left Europe behind with the intention of migrating to the United States. They sailed in an easterly direction, first to Ceylon and then on to Australia. A short residence in Darlington, Western Australia, which included an encounter with local writer Mollie Skinner, was followed by a brief stop in the small coastal town of Thirroul, New South Wales, during which Lawrence completed Kangaroo, a novel about local fringe politics that also revealed a lot about his wartime experiences in Cornwall.
The Lawrences finally arrived in the United States in September 1922. Lawrence had several times discussed the idea of setting up a utopian community with several of his friends, having written to his old socialist friend in Eastwood, Willie Hopkin, in 1915.
D.H. Lawrence Birthplace
Nottingham High School
It was with this in mind that they made for the "bohemian" town of Taos, New Mexico, where Mabel Dodge Luhan, a prominent socialite, lived. Here they eventually acquired the 160-acre (0.65 km2) Kiowa Ranch, now called the D. H. Lawrence Ranch, in 1924 from Dodge Luhan in exchange for the manuscript of Sons and Lovers. He stayed in New Mexico for two years, with extended visits to Lake Chapala and Oaxaca in Mexico. While Lawrence was in New Mexico, he was visited by Aldous Huxley.
Editor and book designer Merle Armitage wrote a book about D. H. Lawrence in New Mexico. Taos Quartet in Three Movements was originally to appear in Flair Magazine, but the magazine folded before its publication. This short work describes the tumultuous relationship of D. H. Lawrence, his wife Frieda, artist Dorothy Brett and Mabel Dodge Sterne. Armitage took it upon himself to print 16 hardcover copies of this work for his friends. Richard Pousette-Dart executed the drawings for Taos Quartet, published in 1950.
While in the US, Lawrence rewrote and published Studies in Classic American Literature, a set of critical essays begun in 1917, and later described by Edmund Wilson as "one of the few first-rate books that have ever been written on the subject". These interpretations, with their insights into symbolism, New England Transcendentalism and the puritan sensibility, were a significant factor in the revival of the reputation of Herman Melville during the early 1920s. In addition, Lawrence completed a number of new fictional works, including The Boy in the Bush, The Plumed Serpent, St Mawr, The Woman who Rode Away, The Princess and assorted short stories. He also found time to produce some more travel writing, such as the collection of linked excursions that became Mornings in Mexico.
A brief voyage to England at the end of 1923 was a failure and he soon returned to Taos, convinced that his life as an author now lay in the United States. However, in March 1925 he suffered a near fatal attack of malaria and tuberculosis while on a third visit to Mexico. Although he eventually recovered, the diagnosis of his condition obliged him to return once again to Europe. He was dangerously ill and the poor health limited his ability to travel for the remainder of his life. The Lawrences made their home in a villa in Northern Italy, living near Florence while he wrote The Virgin and the Gipsy and the various versions of Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928). The latter book, his last major novel, was initially published in private editions in Florence and Paris and reinforced his notoriety. A story set once more in Nottinghamshire about a cross-class relationship between a Lady and her gamekeeper, it broke new ground in describing their sexual relationship in explicit yet literary language. His intention in writing the novel was to challenge the British establishment’s taboos around sex, to enable men and women "…to think sex, fully, completely, honestly, and cleanly." Lawrence responded robustly to those who claimed to be offended, penning a large number of satirical poems, published under the title of "Pansies" and "Nettles", as well as a tract on Pornography and Obscenity.
The return to Italy allowed Lawrence to renew old friendships; during these years he was particularly close to Aldous Huxley, who was to edit the first collection of Lawrence's letters after his death, along with a memoir. With artist Earl Brewster, Lawrence visited a number of local archaeological sites in April 1927. The resulting essays describing these visits to old tombs were written up and collected together as Sketches of Etruscan Places, a book that contrasts the lively past with Benito Mussolini's fascism. Lawrence continued to produce fiction, including short stories and The Escaped Cock (also published as The Man Who Died), an unorthodox reworking of the story of Jesus Christ's Resurrection. During these final years Lawrence renewed a serious interest in oil painting. Official harassment persisted and an exhibition of some of these pictures at the Warren Gallery in London was raided by the police in mid 1929 and a number of works were confiscated.
Westminster Abbey, London
Lawrence continued to write despite his failing health. In his last months he wrote numerous poems, reviews and essays, as well as a robust defence of his last novel against those who sought to suppress it. His last significant work was a reflection on the Book of Revelation, Apocalypse. After being discharged from a sanatorium, he died on 2 March 1930 at the Villa Robermond in Vence, France, from complications of tuberculosis. Frieda Weekley commissioned an elaborate headstone for his grave bearing a mosaic of his adopted emblem of the phoenix. After Lawrence's death, Frieda lived with Angelo Ravagli on the ranch in Taos and eventually married him in 1950. In 1935 Ravagli arranged, on Frieda's behalf, to have Lawrence’s body exhumed and cremated and his ashes brought back to the ranch to be interred there in a small chapel amid the mountains of New Mexico.
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