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Terry Eagleton, 20 June 1996

States of Fantasy 
by Jacqueline Rose.
Oxford, 183 pp., £20, March 1996, 0 19 818280 5
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... had the decency to settle in the Home Counties, was Tolstoy, who could be read as a kind of D.H. Lawrence without the sex and the mines. For post-colonial criticism today, the position is largely reversed: Englishness is a sort of spiritual disability and literature begins at Calais. One good reason for this is that a younger generation of critics has ...

Made in Heaven

Frank Kermode, 10 November 1994

Frieda Lawrence 
by Rosie Jackson.
Pandora, 240 pp., £14.99, September 1994, 9780044409151
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The Married Man: A Life of D.H. Lawrence 
by Brenda Maddox.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 631 pp., £20, August 1994, 1 85619 243 1
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by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Bruce Steele.
Cambridge, 493 pp., £60, August 1994, 0 521 38455 9
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Twilight in Italy and Other Essays 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Paul Eggert.
Cambridge, 327 pp., £55, August 1994, 0 521 26888 5
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... ten in progress. Apart from the full-life biographies there are books covering short periods of Lawrence’s life: his wartime adventures and agonies, his years in Italy, in Australia, in New Mexico and Mexico, and so on. There are also numerous memoirs by people such as Jessie Chambers, Helen Corke, Catherine Carswell, Dorothy Brett, Mabel Dodge, a pair of ...


J.I.M. Stewart, 19 March 1981

Abroad: British Literary Travelling Between the Wars 
by Paul Fussell.
Oxford, 246 pp., £8.95, March 1981, 0 19 502767 1
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... with a hatred of poetry and a contempt for beauty; it is in the British in particular that D.H. Lawrence judges it to intensify the innate philistinism of mankind in general. So what follows hard upon the end of hostilities is ‘the British Literary Diaspora’. Norman Douglas is in Capri and Basil Bunting in Tenerife and Julian Bell at Wuhan ...

Bogey’s Clean Sweep

Michael Holroyd, 22 May 1980

The Life of Katherine Mansfield 
by Antony Alpers.
Cape, 466 pp., £9.50, May 1980, 0 224 01625 3
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... in dung, and smells impure.’ For Carrington, he was a ‘great decaying mushroom’; to D.H. Lawrence, an ‘incorrigible worm’; though Aldous Huxley thought him more of a ‘slug’ who (with regard to Lawrence) had invented a new literary genre, the ‘vindictive hagiography, malice expressed in terms of ...

First Chapters

Ursula Creagh, 3 June 1982

Life after Marriage: Scenes from Divorce 
by A. Alvarez.
Macmillan, 268 pp., £8.95, June 1982, 0 333 24161 4
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... do not recollect Alvarez leaving his wife with the same dignity that Cawdor left his life. Romeo, Lawrence, Tristan are also brought into play. But all these identifications really boil down to a lot of little literary games. They cannot be considered an attempt to deal seriously with a serious subject. Together with this lack of seriousness (though he is ...

Hug me, kiss me

Penelope Fitzgerald, 6 October 1994

Such Devoted Sisters: An Anthology of Stories 
edited by Shena Mackay.
Virago, 330 pp., £6.99, August 1994, 1 85381 755 4
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When the World Was Steady 
by Claire Messud.
Granta, 270 pp., £14.99, July 1994, 0 14 014099 9
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... cross-tensions. Mrs Simpson, inappropriately named Melody, is growing old, and possesses what D.H. Lawrence, an expert in such matters, called a ‘toad-like will’. She is eccentric, sociable and, owing to a surgeon’s error, breastless. Her grudge against life, however, isn’t this, but the lack of spirit and go in her elder ...


Robert Fothergill: Among the Leavisites, 12 September 2019

... poets managed to avoid them, and then only rarely. When it came to fiction, all roads led to D.H. Lawrence, in whose major novels Leavis found a sustained effort to imagine and give dramatic life to the question of How to Live. In retrospect there is something almost poignant, or, less generously, ludicrous, about the idea that the intake of the reading ...

We’ve done awfully well

Karl Miller: The Late 1950s, 18 July 2013

Modernity Britain: Opening the Box, 1957-59 
by David Kynaston.
Bloomsbury, 432 pp., £25, June 2013, 978 0 7475 8893 1
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... which he associates with the work of Williams, Young and Richard Hoggart, and before that of D.H. Lawrence, and which would appear here to have followed on a spell of postwar indifference. The working class is thought by these writers to be marked by a power of sympathy, of closeness and attachment, which makes them the emotional superiors of the rest of ...

Reach-Me-Down Romantic

Terry Eagleton: For and Against Orwell, 19 June 2003

George Orwell 
by Gordon Bowker.
Little, Brown, 495 pp., £20, May 2003, 0 316 86115 4
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Orwell: The Life 
by D.J. Taylor.
Chatto, 448 pp., £20, June 2003, 0 7011 6919 2
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Orwell: Life and Times 
by Scott Lucas.
Haus, 180 pp., £8.99, April 2003, 1 904341 33 0
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... working-class solidarity, which figures however abstractly or romantically even in 1984. Like D.H. Lawrence, Orwell divides his readership down the middle. In Lawrence’s case, either you feel that he has a depth and intensity which puts every other writer in the shade, or his male supremacism and mystical ravings make you ...

Little England

Patrick Wright: The view through a bus window, 7 September 2006

Great British Bus Journeys: Travels through Unfamous Places 
by David McKie.
Atlantic, 359 pp., £16.99, March 2006, 1 84354 132 7
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... whose Towards Democracy was full of new English premonitions, H.G. Wells and, above all, D.H. Lawrence: Sons and Lovers had impressed Goldring as the best embodiment of the ‘curious, indefinable, essential English spirit’. In those early postwar years, Goldring had yearned for a ‘rebirth’ in which the recovery of England would be combined with a ...

One Thing

John Bayley, 22 November 1990

Jean Rhys 
by Carole Angier.
Deutsch, 780 pp., £15.99, November 1990, 0 233 98597 2
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A Lot to Ask: A Life of Barbara Pym 
by Hazel Holt.
Macmillan, 308 pp., £14.99, November 1990, 0 333 40614 1
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... In the introduction he wrote to the Magnus memoir of the Foreign Legion, D.H. Lawrence remarked that he hated ‘terrible’ things, ‘and the people to whom they happen.’ A reason for keeping away from Jean Rhys, but in any case they would hardly have appealed to each other. When she was young she liked adventurers, and married one, but later in her long life she preferred gentle and gentlemanly types who wanted to cherish her, though they seldom or never succeeded ...

Mrs Bowdenhood

C.K. Stead, 26 November 1987

Katherine Mansfield: A Secret Life 
by Claire Tomalin.
Viking, 292 pp., £14.95, October 1987, 0 670 81392 3
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... presence in and influence upon the lives and work of a number of major figures, most notably D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. In her foreword, Tomalin (who refers to Mansfield throughout as Katherine) points out that she is ‘of the same sex as my subject. It may be nonsense to believe that this gives me any advantage over a male biographer. Yet I can’t ...

Grandiose Moments

Frank Kermode, 6 February 1997

Ford Madox Ford: A Dual Life, Vol. II 
by Max Saunders.
Oxford, 696 pp., £35, September 1996, 0 19 212608 3
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... in The End of the Affair. These writers and many others of many stripes – Herbert Read, D.H. Lawrence, Hugh Walpole, for instance – admired him because he was shrewd and helpful about the business of writing. That Max Saunders is a fervent admirer in this tradition is amply proved by his devoting the best part of two decades to this biography. He ...

Hourglass or Penny-Farthing?

Christopher Tayler: Damon Galgut, 31 July 2014

Arctic Summer 
by Damon Galgut.
Atlantic, 357 pp., £17.99, May 2014, 978 0 85789 718 3
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... Eliot came in for a politely lethal rebuke after being pissy about Forster’s description of D.H. Lawrence as ‘the greatest imaginative novelist of our generation’. (‘Mr Eliot … asks me exactly what I mean by “greatest”, “imaginative” and “novelist” and I cannot say. Worse still, I cannot say what “exactly” means – only that there ...

In an English market

Tom Paulin, 3 March 1983

Nothing Sacred: Selected Writings 
by Angela Carter.
Virago, 181 pp., £3.50, October 1982, 0 86068 269 2
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... offers startling portraits of Japanese sexuality, and she also battles sporadically with D.H. Lawrence: ‘Lawrence, the great, guilty chronicler of English social mobility, the classic, seedy Brit full of queasy, self-justificatory class shame and that is why they identify with him so much in British universities, I ...

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