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Welcome to the October 2021 bulletin.



When your editor is not wasting hours of his life trying to photoshop Lawrence onto a pumpkin, he can be found scratching his head in amazement at how diverse Lawrence's impact continues to be. In this October issue we will discover how Lawrence has rendered your editor into an estate agent, insulted Christopher Miles great-great grandfather, and inspired an Etsy artist to transform pegs into characters from Lady Chatterley. As it is the month of Halloween, it seems only fair to share one of the more extreme examples of how the Bearded one continues to exert influence… 

Lawrence once said, ‘I can be anywhere at home, except home’. Clearly this is not the case in the afterlife, as he refuses to leave Eastwood - at least according to @ellierouse85 who contacted yours truly via Twitter to explain she lives in one of Lawrence’s former homes in Eastwood and that he haunts the place. I quote a direct message:

‘My first (sighting) was when I was staying there around age 9. Me and two younger sisters had all slept in the same room. We were on the landing about to walk downstairs. I turned to look at the parrot who was kept in a cage against the landing wall just outside the bathroom. A man walked out the bathroom, through the cage and through the wall into next door. It wasn’t until I saw a picture of Lawrence years later that I realised it was him I’d seen’ 

Alas. Even in death Lawrence continues to rile the populace of Eastwood…

Meanwhile on Terra Firma, if you missed this year’s Lawrence Leavis Day and Birthday lecture, don’t worry – all five recordings can be found on our Soundcloud page. The day began with Paul Filmer’s exploration of motherhood and continued with re-evaluations of three key figures; Arthur Lawrence, Jessie Chambers and Frieda Lawrence. Keith Cushman’s lecture in the evening on ‘Affirmation and Anxiety in Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ movingly explored the images of fragility and death which hide behind the novel’s other themes.

Finally, your editor is imbued with that great human quality of making mistakes and therefore Kate Foster has asked for a correction to the piece in the September bulletin where it was suggested she sorted out the books at Breach House to avoid the miserable wet weather. Your editor can confirm that Ruth Hall, Carol Mills and Brenda Sumner were also trying to avoid the miserable weather and helped contribute towards the Breach House library list. If there was anybody else trying to avoid the miserable weather who has been omitted from this apology, then your editor will send them an umbrella as recompense. And what’s more, with haste.   


If you want anything included in the bulletin, lob it over to me (james.walker@ntu.ac.uk) or Brenda (brenda.sumner@gmail.com)

 

HOME 

13 October (7pm)

Bob Haywood 'Original Sin and D. H. Lawrence' 
Zoom
 
24 October (7pm)
D.H. Lawrence Society and the Orwell Society joint event.

Brenda Sumner 'DH Lawrence and Censorship'

Richard Lance Keeble 'The Extraordinary Power of Imagination: Orwell's Passion for Lawrence' 

To attend, you need to register your interest via Eventbrite here. Eventbrite is an online Then you will be sent a Zoom link closer to the time.
 
Exhibition on till19 November
From the Pits to Paris: The Works of George Bissill
Erewash Museum, High St, Ilkeston DE7 5JA. Tel: 0115 907 1141

 

Please note: London group meetings start in the new year. Please see the 'London Calling' feature


AWAY

Last week of October

Return to Sea and Sardinia will be presented at the international conference to be held in Cagliari in the last weekend of October 2021 in the Motzo classroom of the University of Cagliari and in the Cineteca Sarda headquarters. At the time of writing, we have no further details or links. 



Over 20 essays, Rick Gekoski provides potted histories and interesting anecdotes of the great authors and rare books he’s encountered during his time as a bookseller. This is literary clat-farting par excellence. What will be of interest to members of the Society is how Gekoski acquired a first edition of Sons and Lovers, the ‘jewel in the crown’ of his personal Lawrence collection. This is sourced from Dennis Wheatley, the ‘thriller writer, Satanist, erotomane, and bore’.

What makes Wheatley’s copy so striking is it includes a dustwrapper. ‘The dustwrapper,’ Gekoski explains, ‘is worth ten times – sometimes much more – than the book itself. Books without their wrappers are regarded as incomplete, which seems a little silly, as if they were Chippendale chairs, without legs.’

Gekoski is a fine writer, blending fact and humour to draw in lots of interesting facts about the production of Lawrence’s seminal novel. If you want to know more you’ll have to pick up a copy or read the review at the Digital Pilgrimage here.  


If you want to review a Lawrence-related book - get in contact.
 



Some malicious gossip has been spread about your editor, suggesting he is either Kirstie Allsopp or Phil Spencer (the presenters of Location, Location, Location). This is based on an onslaught of emails requesting support in selling properties or seeking accommodation. With this in mind - and with no commission forthcoming (yet?) - I present the latest Lawrence-inspired housing issues from our members (and non-members).


 
Trowell Hall
“I have lived at Trowell Hall for 25 years and now offer the Hall to discerning guests via airbnb. The Hall was built in 1846 as the rectory for Trowell. We are a lovely walk from Church Cottage in Cossall. I wondered if our venue might be of interest to your society and followers. We greatly value our Lawrentian heritage and imagine walking in Lawrence's footsteps on a regular basis.

If you have 9 friends who are happy to be dispersed across 5 bedrooms and fancy loitering in 50 acres of English countryside in a Victorian Country House, click on the link below and send us a postcard. 

Airbnb
link here or contact marcus.bicknell@nhs.net
 
David Amos, a man best known for his ability to bring mining into any conversation, is after a private rented room in London where his daughter Paige might lodge during her postgraduate Bar Studies. If anyone knows of anything, Paige can be contacted directly by e-mail at paigeadventuresofpea@gmail.com or by post at 46 Lawrence Avenue, Eastwood, Nottinghamshire. NG16 3LD.
 
Sheila Redfern, a woman who grew up in Eastwood, got in contact to see if any of our members would be interested in purchasing a
cottage on Three Tuns Road that was originally a Monk’s brewery several hundred years ago. She said she was eager for the property to be sold to a local with an interest in Lawrence. We are informed it has “original beams and even a well from the brewery in the garden!”

If anybody else has a property they would like to sell, please get in contact with Right Move (unless you can make a Lawrencian link). Now that the floodgates have been opened, your editor expects to receive requests from people who want their dog walking (‘retracing Arthur Lawrence’s steps to Brinsley Colliery’) or repairing a roof on an outhouse (‘so you can imagine you’re Dorothy Brett in Taos’)…

 

Lawrence and Academia 


 

For years there has been an ugly concrete squatter blocking out the view of Nottingham city centre. But finally, the Broadmarsh Centre has been flattened and Nottingham is no longer intu banality. There are various discussions going on about how to regenerate the area, with many demanding a green space that taps into our heritage as home to Sherwood Forest.



Part of the ambitious Southern Gateway regeneration scheme is the creation of a new Central Library and the £58m building for the Nottingham College (see picture above). As lovely as the building is, we’re more concerned with what’s going on inside and were delighted to discover this quote from Lawrence greeting the latest intake of students.

Let’s hope the tutors’ experiences are better than Ursula’s in The Rainbow. “Her heart was so black and tangled in the teaching, her personal self was shut in prison, abolished, she was subjugate to a bad, destructive will. How then could the sky be shining? There was no sky, there was no luminous atmosphere of out-of-doors. Only the inside of the school was real—hard, concrete, real and vicious.”

 

On the Box



This week we feature Carolyn Melbourne’s recent talk on The Magic of Objects. This is just one of many recordings of previous meetings and events that you can find on either our soundcloud account or YouTube channel.
 

London Group of the D.H. Lawrence Society

Below are some updates from Catherine Brown regarding the London Group of the D.H. Lawrence Society.
 
You can read an account of the meeting on
July 30 2021 here. This talk saw Glyn Bailey, Keith Thomas and Stephen Duckham discuss the evolution of their musical, currently entitled ‘Censored: The Scandalous Life of D. H. Lawrence’

Regarding our
programme for the coming year - I am afraid that personal issues mean that I will not be able to resume leading our meetings this autumn. But we will restart in January 2022. The latest version of our programme (with many topics still to be confirmed) is: 

2022          
Friday 28 January         Rachel Murray                             
Friday 25 February       Simonetta de Filippis    
Thursday 24 March       Shirley Bricout: A Biblical topic
Thursday 28 April          Jane Costin  
Friday 27 May               Reading Group
*Thursday 25 June        Jane and Dudley Nichols     Visit to the Cearne 

*Or close to this date

 

I will be sharing more information about all our meetings closer to the time of each, and hope to see many of you there. In general, we will remain on Zoom except for excursions and events such as meals. I have not projected a July meeting, since that runs very close to the 15th International D. H. Lawrence Conference in Taos, which (after two postponements) will be taking place from 17th-22nd July. If you would like to find out more about this conference, please click here.

1. Reflections on Lady Chatterley's Daughter (Part 1: Chapters 1-11)
http://torpedotheark.blogspot.com/2021/08/reflections-on-lady-chatterleys.html
D. H. Lawrence's final and most notorious novel, Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928), has been a gift that keeps on giving to parodists and pornographers, as well as writers of popular romantic fiction such as Patricia Robins, author of over eighty novels, including, in 1961, this sequel to Lawrence's banned book.


2. Reflections on Lady Chatterley's Daughter (Part 2: Chapters 12-22)
http://torpedotheark.blogspot.com/2021/08/reflections-on-lady-chatterleys_30.html
 

3. Plutocracy
http://torpedotheark.blogspot.com/2021/09/plutocracy.html
Many would agree that the tyranny of wealth is vulgar and objectionable, wherever they are on the political spectrum. Indeed, opposition to plutocracy is one of the few things that unites everyone from Nietzsche to Noam Chomsky, including Ursula Brangwen, who declares a preference for an "aristocracy of birth rather than of money".


4. Aristocracy
http://torpedotheark.blogspot.com/2021/09/aristocracy.html
According to D. H. Lawrence, the prédilection d'artiste is for the singular individual who dares to become who they are. This fascination for those natural aristocrats who give birth to the dancing star of themselves is rooted deeply, he says, in every creative soul.  
 

5. In Defence of Owen Rhys and the American Way of Life (The D. H. Lawrence Birthday Post 2021)
http://torpedotheark.blogspot.com/2021/09/in-defence-of-owen-rhys-and-american.html
Whilst there may be some aspects of the American way of life I feel uncomfortable with, I would, nevertheless, prefer to live in a liberal democracy than a theocracy, which, arguably, is the worst of all forms of government. And that remains the case even when the theocracy is neopagan in character, full of dark gods waiting in the outer darkness, as imagined by D. H. Lawrence in The Plumed Serpent (1926).


6. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
http://torpedotheark.blogspot.com/2021/09/fomo-fear-of-missing-out.html
With reference to the case of Owen Rhys, the American playboy in The Plumed Serpent, whom Lawrence (partly) based on the poet and translator Witter Bynner.
 

7. On the Question of Distance and Proximity
http://torpedotheark.blogspot.com/2021/09/on-question-of-distance-and-proximity.html
Should members of the Lawrence community be participating in a virtual symposium? Or should they, instead, be searching for a way to climb down Pisgah, enter the fourth dimension, and come back into touch? I think less time spent Zooming and more time reading Heidegger and attempting to know the thingness of things and the nearness of the nearest, would be advisable.
 

8. On the Spiritualisation of Politics
http://torpedotheark.blogspot.com/2021/09/on-spiritualisation-of-politics.html
In his Black Notebooks, Heidegger sought to distinguish a spiritual national socialism from a more vulgar form; something that Lawrence arguably attempted in his 1926 novel The Plumed Serpent
 

9. I Shall Speak of Geist, of Flame, and of Glimpses
http://torpedotheark.blogspot.com/2021/09/i-shall-speak-of-geist-of-flame-and-of.html
D. H. Lawrence meets Martin Heidegger in this poetico-philosophical mash-up.


 
Seething and Sardinia



In our previous bulletin we discussed Lawrence’s correspondence with Jan Juta, the artist who illustrated Sea and Sardinia. However, Christopher Miles is not so impressed with Lawrence’s travelogue, particularly his attitude towards industry. In the spirit of the book (I think), he lets rip…

 
"Sea and Sardinia, I wonder if you’ve read his actual book?
 
I just have - what an old moaner he is. Out of all the people he meets during his island foray, 70% he has a row or argument with. He is in a bad mood most of the time, and there are some funny episodes when he tries to defend the British ‘sterling’ after we sort of won the First World War. As usual with him there are splendid descriptive passages of islanders in their then national costumes, but some of it is very repetitive.
 
But finally what got my Sardinian goat, is his constant denigration of the common man behind the levers of machinery. Mostly in this case - train engines or buses. Whilst he is delighted to be whisked up the hilly Sardinian landscape in comfort, he cannot stand, or marvel in any way as to how it is done - he loathes engineers, machinery and industrialisation. While he marvels at the ‘patinage’ on the deck of an old steamer and who built it, he cannot be bothered to walk a few yards to look at the train engine’s plate he ridicules (but enjoys riding in) to see that they were made in England under an Italian licence, and that the Sardinian railways which are among the most spectacular and daring in all of Europe, were constructed by a Welsh engineer Benjamin Piercy, who finished the first phase in 1881.
 
For someone whose great-great grandfather, Richard Miles, was one of the four "engineeeers" (said with a sneer) who built the first railway in the world from Stockton to Darlington in 1825, I am now tiring of Lawrence’s feelings on industry - and he didn’t even know about ‘climate change’ either!

Let’s hope Daniele Marzeddu’s film, on revisiting the island, goes some way in correcting this rather depressing little book."

 


The Erewash Museum is hosting an exhibition of work by the Langely Mill miner and painter George Bissill (1896-1973). Bissill was brought up in Langley Mill and worked for a time as a collier in some of the local mines, which fed into much of his work. He enlisted in WWI as a Sapper but was invalided out in 1918, briefly returning to mining before leaving the job on medical grounds. He moved to London and eventually found work as a commercial artist before being 'discovered' and gaining a reputation through an exhibition of his work. He eventually moved from London to Hampshire, having also spent time in Paris. 

The exhibition, in the Museum's Lally Gallery, runs from 2 September to 19 November. Admission is free, donations welcome at the door. For more information, see their
Facebook page and on the Mining Heritage website 
 
Thanks to Tony Rice for sharing this information.

 
From the JDHLS Archives
 
JDHLS 2023 - call for essay abstracts by 31 October 

JDHLS 2023 will be a special issue of peer-reviewed articles arising from the International Virtual Symposium, ‘D. H. Lawrence, Distance and Proximity’, held on 10‒14 July 2021. Articles of up to 7000 words, representing a range of the topics discussed at the Symposium, will be pre-selected on the basis of resubmitted abstracts. Completed essays are due by 31 December 2022, with final acceptance subject to the journal’s usual peer review process. For further details of the journal and its archive of published articles please visit the website.

To be considered please send your abstract (c. 300 words) for a fully worked-up essay on the theme/s of distance and/or proximity to 
dhlsymposium2021@gmail.com by 31 October 2021 (extended from 30 September).


Short readings of Lawrence’s short stories - call for short abstracts by 31 October


JDHLS is also planning a feature of short readings of Lawrence’s short stories (drawing on the CUP editions), which could be close readings of part/s of a short story/ies or, conversely, distant readings across a range of texts, or anything in between. The intention is not to be prescriptive and instead to allow a certain degree of critical freedom through brevity (c. 500-1000 words). For an example of this approach, please see ‘New Readings of Selected Poems’ in JDHLS 5.3 (2020); these were inspired by the Cambridge Edition of The Poems and, again, we particularly invite readings that delve into the treasure trove offered by the Cambridge Editions.
 
To be considered please send a very short abstract (c. 50-100 words), proposing a short story/ies and your likely approach to 
dhlsymposium2021@gmail.com by 31 October 2021. Acceptance of final submissions will be subject to peer review.


Unedited papers
We have around 40 symposium papers so far, which we plan to share (unedited) on JDHLS Online in October https://journalofdhlawrencestudies.com/ So it is not too late to be included - please send your paper by 30 September.



 
D.H. Lawrence Dialect Alphabet


 
Source: D.H. Lawrence Memory Theatre
 



In ‘Up close and dangerous: the irresistible allure of DH Lawrence’ Lara Feigel argues that after decades of being out of fashion, Lawrence is enjoying a resurgence: “To spend sustained time with Lawrence is to argue with him. Attraction to him has always entailed antagonism. He argued with everyone, and most of all with himself. Part of why he still matters is his love of ambivalence and oppositions – there was no thought that wasn’t enlivened for him by considering its opposite – and this can bring out equivalent energies in his readers.”
Read her Guardian article
here

During Banned Books week, Alison Macleod gave a talk at London Library on ‘Tenderness: Lawrence, lovers and literature on trial’. If anybody attended this online event (30 Sept) and would like to review it, please send your words our way.

 
In our previous bulletin, we mentioned that Keith Sagar’s personal collection of books were for sale. Melissa Sagar wrote to us and said, "while I am looking to sell the Cambridge volumes, I have a number of critical and biographical works on DHL, both duplicates of works by Keith and books by others, which I would be happy to donate to a good home, so to speak." If you are interested in purchasing any of these, please contact
melissasagar3@gmail.com

Visit Youlgrave.com to hear locals reminisce about their involvement in the production of Christopher Miles’ The Virgin and the Gypsey. Helen Knight writes, “The filming that took place in the summer of 1969 has special memories for people in Youlgrave, who were either ‘starring’ as extras or just enjoying the spectacle of the filming and mixing with the crew and the actors. At the time of filming I was 14 and appeared with my mother, Mildred Bacon, in the Church congregation singing in the opening scene. For myself and others we were always so proud to have been involved and to see our beautiful village and local scenery on the big screen, and it has always made a good tale to tell friends over the years.”
 
Lawrence’s later paintings are infamous, but what about his early work? A little known sketch from his Eastwood days is the subject of the latest blog on the DH Lawrence society website written by Kathleen Vella. You can
read it here

Festival walk



Here's some pictures from the Festival walk. As you can see it involved an immaculately dressed Vince Sharpe, lots of cakes, and an outing for Malcolm Gray's dog Rosie. If anyone would like to send in a review, do so..


Lawrence and Me: Rob Barratt
Rob Barratt is a former teacher who recently joined the DHL council. Here he shares his love of  Lawrence and a photograph taken at Eastwood-on-Sea...

My name is Rob Barratt and I have recently joined the D H Lawrence Society council having spent over 20 years teaching English Language and Literature to secondary school students and sixth formers. I now work for the NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union as a full time officer. I first came across Lawrence, as most of us do, when I was taught Sons and Lovers at A Level. This book appealed to me in so many ways – I grew up, and still live in, a mining community and his representations of mining and the values in their communities was the first time I had seen in writing an attempt to convey the special and unique qualities of mining community people; it was also the first time I had really begun to think about how writing conveys the “inner life” and I still believe there are few writers who are better than Lawrence in doing so; I had also started my first serious relationship (young love eh?) but it’s a good job we don’t read Lawrence as a user’s guide to success! I have been privileged to have taught Lawrence’s short stories, poetry and novels over the years even though he started falling out of favour during my period as a teacher. Good writing always wins out in the end though. That’s not to say Lawrence wasn’t a deeply flawed man (aren’t we all?) but Lawrence’s refusal to accept dogma, and his skill for trying to unpick subtle nuances, to my mind, is his most attractive quality. And his descriptive skill is unmatched by anyone. I am so looking forward to being involved with the society because Lawrence has brought us all together in a very special way and I will never tire of reading, and discussing, his work.
 

From the Archives

In issue 12 (1978) of the newsletter we discover that Tennessee Williams made a literary pilgrimage to Eastwood. Williams was a great admirer of Lawrence. He went to Taos to meet Frieda in 1939 and in his autobiographical play, The Glass Menagerie, Tom’s mother is appalled to find him reading ‘that hideous book by that insane Mr Lawrence’. Williams also adapted Lawrence’s short story ‘You Touched Me’ into a play and planned a full length play about Lawrence’s life.


 
Learn more about Lawrence
To be included in the newsletter contact james.walker@ntu.ac.uk or brenda.sumner@gmail.com
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