D.H. LAWRENCE VENTS HIS ANGER OVER RETURNED COPIES OF
LADY CHATTERLEY’S LOVER
LAWRENCE, D.H. (1885-1930). English novelist, poet and essayist. Outstanding Autograph Letter Signed, “D.H. Lawrence”. Full page, quarto. “Kesselmatte. Gsteig b. Gstaad (Bern), Switzerland”, August 4, 1928. To Allen W. Steele, William Jackson Ltd. Lawrence writes:
“I note that, after withholding them still for a day after the receipt of my letter, you have delivered 74 copies of Lady Chatterley’s Lover to my friend. If you wish to withdraw from an order in this fashion, I think the least you can do is to pay the postage on the copies sent to you. Will you let me hear about this. And will you please send me your receipt for the books, signed by my friend, and accept this of mine in its stead. Yours faithfully, D.H. Lawrence.”
Lawrence achieved success with his first novel, The White Peacock, published in 1911, and two years later made his reputation with the semi-autobiographical Sons and Lovers. In 1915, he published The Rainbow, an exploration of marital and sexual relations, and was horrified to find himself prosecuted for obscenity. He left England in 1919, and after three years’ residence in Italy produced Women in Love. He was once again shocked by his further prosecutions for obscenity over the private publication of Lady Chatterley’s Lover in 1928. Lady Chatterley’s Lover was not published in England in an unexpurgated form until after a sensational obscenity trial in 1961. As this letter illustrates, Lawrence was forced to personally recoup copies of his book when publicity made the book a property too hot to handle. Opinion is still divided over Lawrence’s worth as a writer, but his influence over later generations of authors cannot be discounted. He led the evolution into deeper interpretation of human emotion on a level of consciousness more profound than that handled by his contemporaries. Letters written at the height or his literary genius, referring directly to his greatest work, are exceedingly scarce. Choice condition.