David Herbert Lawrence was born on September 11th, 1885 in Nottinghamshire, England. D. H. Lawrence began writing in 1905, initially beginning with short stories, essays, and poems. Later in 1911, he published his first novel, The White Peacock. Lawrence’s most famous works include Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, Women in Love, and Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Tragically, D. H. Lawrence passed away on March 2nd, 1930 at the age of 44 due to complications of tuberculosis.
Today would have marked D. H. Lawrence’s 137th birthday. In honor of one of the most prolific and influential writers of the 20th century, here are five fun facts about the author.
1. Lawrence’s mother inspired his love of literature.
Prior to working in the lace industry, Lydia Lawrence had been born into a middle-class family who prioritized her education. This led to her falling in love with reading, and in turn, also introducing D. H. Lawrence to a variety of books in his childhood.
2. D. H. Lawrence ended up eloping with his former professor’s wife.
When he was twenty-seven, D. H. Lawrence met Frieda, the wife of his former professor, Ernest Weekley. The two hit it off, and Frieda ended up leaving behind her husband and three children to elope with Lawrence. Later, in 1914, Frieda and D. H. were formally married in England after her divorce was finalized.
3. He was accused of being a British spy.
After marrying Frieda, D. H. Lawrence moved into Frieda’s parents’ home in Metz, Germany. While there, Lawrence was accused of being a British spy and arrested by the German military in 1917. Fortunately, Frieda’s father intervened and Lawrence was promptly released.
4. One of D. H. Lawrence’s books, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, was actually put on trial.
While this novel had already been published in Italy during the 1920s, it was quite a controversial subject when Penguin Books sought to publish it in Britain in 1960. In Regina v Penguin Books Ltd, the prosecution argued that the text violated the Obscene Publications Act due to its strong language and graphic scenes of sexual nature. However, the defense argued that the novel had good intentions, and even called a bishop up to the stand to testify.
5. He was quite fond of traveling.
D. H. Lawrence spent the majority of his life traveling the world, visiting places such as Italy, Mexico, Sri Lanka, and Australia. Additionally, Lawrence also wrote three travel books: Twilight in Italy and Other Essays, Sea and Sardinia, and Mornings in Mexico.
To celebrate D. H. Lawrence’s birthday even further, read 10 of the best quotes from him here.
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