Welcome to the March bulletin

Your editor has been swearing now for 10 hours trying to sort out the formatting in this bulletin and has finally accepted that no amount of logic or rationality will help. He remembers the advice of William the Bruce from his schooldays- if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. This is utter rubbish. If at first you don't succeed after 10 hours of trying, give up. Life is a lot happier this way. With this in mind, please focus on the content rather than the aesthetics of this bulletin...     

As we get used to lockdown restrictions, I can’t help but feel envious of Lawrence who was on the R.M.S Osterley 101 years ago this month, penning this upbeat letter to Rosalind Baynes on 8 March 1922: ‘It is rather lovely – perfect weather all the time, ship steady as can be, enough wind now to keep it cool...I loved coming through the Suez Canal – 5 miles an hour – takes 18 hours – you see the desert, the sand-hills, the low palm trees, arabs with camels working at the side. I like it so much’.

At the moment I get excited about going to Tesco to buy a paper on a Saturday, but perhaps one day, if we believe the clat-farting,  we will all be able to experience some form of travel soon, even if it’s a traffic jam outside the Ikea as we make our way back to Eastwood. Museums will be first on my to do list, and so here’s a list from the Guardian of UK Writer’s homes that are available for rent as holiday homes. These range from John Betjeman’s London townhouse to Keats’ seaside cottage, and a certain home in Eastwood... 
If you want anything included in the bulletin, lob it over to me ( or Brenda (      .  


Home (Eastwood)
Wednesday 10 March (7.15pm) Carolyn Melbourne

‘The Magic of Objects; Behind the Scenes of the D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum’ 

Meeting ID: 849 4042 1574 
Zoom link

Away (London)

Friday 26 March (6.30pm) Trevor Norris 

‘Lawrence’s Nature and Contemporary Ecophilosophy’: St Mawr, Mornings in Mexico, Sketches of Etruscan Places, Apocalypse'
Music rescued from the dust piles
For those of you who enjoyed the talk Alan gave to the society at the last meeting on Linwood and Newton (two unsung musical heroes), he has now put together a podcast with examples of their music, all very carefully chosen and presented in a radio style ‘show’, along with a music track list. You can catch the talk and listen to the music on the website
under the meeting section here. Alan has extensively researched both these figures, providing essentially new recordings of scores straight from the ‘dust piles’, so to speak, and well worth hearing.

From the JDHLS archives

In August 1922 Lawrence reported from Rarotonga in the Cook Islands that he was having ‘a good trip, quiet, empty sea: and two Wednesdays in this week, which make it seem like a year’ (4L 283). But his peaceful voyage from Australia to San Francisco was soon disrupted: ‘At Tahiti we took on a Crowd of cinema people who have been making a film ‘Captain Blackbird’. They are rather like successful shop-girls, and the men like any sort of men at the sea-side. Utterly undistinguished. That’s how it all is – so undistinguished, so common’ (4L 287). Thanks to avid movie-fan (and painstaking researcher) Ross Parmenter we now know that the film based on Carey Wilson’s story ‘Captain Blackbird’ was really Lost and Found – a blockbuster from Hollywood’s leading, independent producer, Samuel Goldwyn no less! These facts, duly noted in Volume IV of The Cambridge Edition of The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, are further illuminated by Parmenter’s full account in JDHLS 1990:
Lawrence’s brush with the Hollywood elite did nothing to endear him to the new mass medium of cinema that he had previously condemned in as ‘the deaf and dumb … cinematograph … come to give us the nervous excitement of speed, grimace, agitation, and speed, as of flying atoms’ (Twilight in Italy p. 133). As Parmenter observes, Lawrence’s brief remarks about his encounter with the film ‘Crowd’ (tellingly capitalised) suggest his complete indifference to the fame of actors he doesn’t even bother to name: House Peters, who starred as Captain Blackbird, Rosemary Theby, Pauline Starke and ‘the handsome Spaniard, Antonio Moreno’ (p. 52).
What is more this ground-breaking production was ‘one of the first from a Hollywood studio to go to a foreign country to make a film’. The location presented daunting challenges since thousands of spear-throwing extras were enlisted from twelve tribes hitherto kept apart by their French colonisers: ‘A village was burned and often spears were hurled straight at the viewers and the cameramen had to stand behind shields as they caught the action’. Surely such adventures generated exciting anecdotes to share during an uneventful voyage?
Yet Lawrence was unexcited both by his famous shipmates and his experience of a luxury cruise. His only full letter from onboard the HMS Tahiti contains salutary words for anyone currently suffering from cabin-fever during our Covid-necessitated lockdowns: ‘To be alone, and to be still, is always one of the greatest blessings. The more one sees of people, the more one feels it isn’t worth while. Better sit quite still in one’s own room, and possess one’s own soul. Travel seems to me a splendid lesson in disillusion – chiefly that’ (4L 286). But, as we know, Lawrence was never still for long – and we too will be on the move again soon enough. 
The new website of the Journal of D. H. Lawrence Studies hosts articles published since 1988. Please delve deeper into the searchable archive and feel free to write in about your own finds to Susan Reid: Thank you to Kate Foster and Jane Costin for their recent contributions!

Lawrence and Academia 


Twine is an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories. Constance Bougie has used Twine to write an essay about Lawrence for a course on translatlantic modernism. Twine will not be to everyone’s tastes and it can be a little hit or miss in terms of navigating through the narrative, but it is another example of innovative ways in which Lawrence’s work is being explored in education.  Read it here 

On the Box

D H LAWRENCE: SEX, EXILE AND GREATNESS is premiered on Sky Arts on World Book Day  on Thursday 4th March at 7pm. The programme is produced and directed by Adrian Munsey and Vance Goodwin for Odyssey Television and features Catherine Brown, Professor David Ellis, Dr Andrew Harrison, Dr Hugh Stevens, Professor Santanu Das. It is narrated by Stella Gonet, with Sam Marks as the voice of D H Lawrence.
The programme blurb states: “Author of classics such Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, Women in Love and Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Lawrence was initially helped by members of the Bloomsbury group but his sense of being an outsider led him to follow his own path, not least because he was not afraid in his writing and in his life of challenging established and conventional values. Partly because of his early death, partly because of the harassment he suffered, and partly because of the poverty he endured, there is a deep sense of sadness underlying his life - despite his brilliance and enormous talent.
D H LAWRENCE: SEX, EXILE AND GREATNESS explores Lawrence’s work which has produced both divergent and demanding reactions. Lady Chatterley’s Lover, the novel which was the subject of a landmark obscenity trial, has influenced popular culture probably greater than any other ever written. Deeply sensitive yet at times aggressive, sometimes accused of misogyny and worse, Lawrence was a writer of incredible ability, consistently challenging literary norms and hauntingly brave in his personal, intellectual, and creative life.
D H LAWRENCE: SEX, EXILE AND GREATNESS is an exploration of a man who, dogged by ill-health and poverty, was often persecuted for his explicit subject matter and his uncompromising sense of personal truth. He eventually left England and became an exile, travelling extensively throughout the world with his wife Frieda and settling in New Mexico before returning to Europe and dying in France at the age of just 44."



Last month, Torpedo the Ark featured five posts that contained references to (and/or discussions of) Lawrence's work:
1. Lobster Variations (I-IV)
This post examines the lobster within the work of four authors: T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, Samuel Beckett, and David Foster Wallace ...
2. D. H. Lawrence: The Reluctant Fashion Beast
This post discusses Judith Ruderman's essay on Lawrence and fashion in The Edinburgh Companion to D. H. Lawrence and the Arts (2020) ...
3. Iconography is Never Innocent
This post discusses Catherine Brown's essay on Lawrence as icon in The Edinburgh Companion to D. H. Lawrence and the Arts (2020) ...
4. Pan and Jesus in the Art of Dorothy Brett
This post examines relations of non-relation and the concept of a disjunctive synthesis, arguing that a pathos of distance
should always be kept between the figures of Pan and Christ ...
5. Apple Maggots
This post explains why Lawrence - like Nietzsche - was unable to ever belong as a member of a church, or political party and why
we should therefore take his claim of being at one with Catholicism on the religious fundamentals with a pinch of salt ...

Poetry Day (Sunday 8 May)

Bob Haywood and Malcolm Gray have been working hard on the poetry festival Poetry Day conference. Four speakers are confirmed for the theme 'Love and Nature in Lawrence's Poems'.  Further details, plus poems to be discussed, will be in April's Bulletin.

While we are living life online you have the opportunity to participate in events from both our Eastwood and London groups. Visit Catherine Brown's website to find information on upcoming events and read reports of past events. She will be uploading reviews of 2021 events soon, such as Anthony Pacitto's fascinating insight into Lawrence's 1919 journey into the snow-capped Abruzzo mountains to stay with a strange old character who had been an artist’s model in late Victorian London, one Orazio Cervi. Whereas you can listen to recordings of Eastwood events on the Society website here.

I’ve been thinking a lot about animals and insects since Lara Feigel’s talk to the
London D.H. Lawrence Group on Thursday 25th which led me to read two of Lawrence's  mosquito poems. And from here I jumped down a big hole on the internet and ended up at a website called monsieurmosquito. This provides various facts about the annoying bloodsuckers as well as an analysis of 'The Mosquito'. This, the website author informs us, was likely written on the way to Malta on May 17, 1920 when Lawrence was staying at the Grand Hotel in Syracuse. He goes on to say that “the original draft of the poem was authored around that time and signed “Siracusa.”   Lawrence remembered the hotel they stayed in that night in his memoirs as “a rather dreary hotel – and many bloodstains of squashed mosquitoes on the bedroom walls”’. You can vists the website here.
D.H. Lawrence and Dialect

Source: D.H. Lawrence Memory Theatre
Unlocking the DH Lawrence Collection
Amy Bowler, archive cataloguer at Nottingham University Manuscripts and Special Collections is working on an exciting project making the D.H. Lawrence Collection more accessible to a wider audience.
‘April 2020 marked the start of a two-year project, funded by the Arts Council England Designation Development Fund, aimed at making this designated collection accessible to a wider audience. The project will incorporate a number of different elements, including the digitisation of Lawrence’s correspondence and literary manuscripts, the creation of brand new catalogues for previously unlisted sections of the collection, and a number of exciting events centred around an exhibition at Nottingham Lakeside Arts curated by world renowned expert on D.H. Lawrence, Dr Andrew Harrison.’
Updates and details of events in conjunction with the ‘Unlocking the D.H. Lawrence Collection’ project will be published via manuscripts/ and Twitter @mssUniNott.
To read more, follow this link:

Digitised manuscripts of Lawrence’s Odour of Chrysanthemums can be viewed on the specialist learning resource, created with academics from the University of Nottingham’s School of English. 


From the Archives

This snippet from the DHLS newsletter number 2 – Winter 1976 is for everyone who played ‘Guess Who?’ as a kid. The title is: ‘What was Bert Lawrence’s father really like?’

Women in Love

We were recently offered a first edition of Women in Love which we gladly snapped up and then had the difficult decision of deciding who to gift it to. The donor left the following message: "Hello new owner - look upon this book as you would when adopting an elderly rescue cat or dog! It's best years are behind it but it still has something to give! All best wishes, Helen."
After much deliberation, we donated the novel to Montserrat Morera who has been a member of the Society for over 40 years (see feature below). Writing to the doner, Montserrat wrote: “I’m very glad they (the Society) thought of me as the “adoptive mother" to your old book. It means a lot, it’s my favourite DHL novel, and the best he wrote, in my opinion. I enclose some photos I took this morning. You can see me and also the cover I have put to your book. It’s Moroccan leather, decorated with gold. It will be a sort of new dress for it.” The two are set to become pen friends and hopefully this will be the blossoming of a new friendship.   

Elsewhere, writer Patrick Miles discusses the novel Lawrence, in a letter to E.M. Forster in 1916, described as a ‘wonderful and terrible novel’ for his blogging site Calderonia – A Writer Goes to War. You can
read his fascinating analysis of the novel here.   

Me and Lawrence: Montse Morera

My name is Montse Morera. I’m 70. I live in Manresa (Catalonia). I’m a retired English teacher. When I was 20 a teacher at the British Council Institute of Barcelona introduced us to DH Lawrence. He was a great admirer of Lawrence’s work and some students in his Literature class became fans. I wanted to read everything he wrote and my dream was to visit Eastwood and the country of his youth. In the seventies nobody knew about Lawrence in Spain. Under the Franco regime he was a censored author and not many of his books had been translated. I had to buy all his books in London, every time I could make a short trip. I was attracted by his ideas of a new kind of relationship between people and a new kind of world. In my youth there were many utopian theories and I loved Lawrence’s ideas about following the forces of Nature. Sadly, I cannot say he’s an important writer nowadays, due to his invisibility in the non-specialised literary circles.
I have always loved England and, when I first had the opportunity to attend a course at Nottingham University, organised by the DHL Society, I came. It was July, 1980. For me, an absolute amateur, totally disconnected to people who had studied Lawrence for years, it was a wonderful opportunity. I was listening to experts that made me discover lots of details I didn’t know. We travelled around his native places with interesting people from all over the world; I was the only Spaniard. It was more vivid and real than what I had imagined. I was so very happy; my dreams were fulfilled.
I returned in 1985 to experience once more the world of Lawrence (and took the above picture). I became enchanted by teachers and students again. But I got married, had children and a lot of work to do, so I wasn’t able to return anymore. Nevertheless, I continued to be a member of the Society, in order to keep in touch with everything you do. I read the Journals avidly. And this year, thanks to the confinement for the pandemic, I have been able to reconnect to the DHL world, and to participate in your interesting Zoom meetings. I can assure you that I’m delighted every time I see your faces. Not all Covid-19 consequences are bad…

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