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By Fiona Becket

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Extra info for D.H. Lawrence: A Sourcebook (Complete Critical Guide to English Literature)

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Although he had accepted editors’ revisions and straightforward cuts of his work, he could not be optimistic for his second ‘Brangwen’ novel – still in progress – after the treatment of The Rainbow, and perhaps the thought that he had nothing more to lose gives that novel, Women in Love, its biting critical edge. Unable to go to America, the Lawrences moved, at the end of December 1915, to Cornwall. Settling for a time at Zennor, Lawrence, impoverished, worked on Women in Love – which he knew would not find a publisher in Britain – as well as a number of other pieces including poetry and short stories.

Michael Black draws attention to this sense of a tradition in his study of Lawrence’s early fiction: The literary ancestors [of George, Lettie et al. in The White Peacock] might be George Eliot’s pairs of young people in Middlemarch, or Tolstoy’s pairs in Anna Karenina; or one might see George Saxton as a failed version of Hardy’s Gabriel Oak … More strikingly, the strong rustic pair at the farm (George, Emily) set against an overbred pair from a cultivated drawing room (Lettie and Cyril) may remind the reader of Wuthering Heights – Lettie’s wilfulness and charm and her disastrous choice are very like Catherine Earnshaw’s.

He has become one of those writers where a great deal of biographical detail supports the almost innumerable critical studies. So it is that the ‘Lawrence industry’ has a dual focus, biographical and critical and, more often than not, the two domains dovetail. FURTHER READING Lawrence’s life and relationships have been represented in a vast number of memoirs and reminiscences. At least ten volumes were produced shortly after his death by friends who were champions, defenders and critics of Lawrence, to whom the description of ‘genius’ nevertheless invariably stuck.

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