Welcome to the November bulletin

The US elections are underway, and we can only hope that the electorate consider Lawrence’s advice that ‘a bad spirit in a nation, chooses a bad spirit in a governor’. But let’s not focus on the orange narcissist (or the unashamedly liberal bias of your bulletin editor), let’s think about pumpkins instead... 

According to the Guardian, around 8 million pumpkins end up in the bin after Halloween. Pumpkins get a mention in Lawrence’s 1923 novel 'Kangaroo' in which English writer Richard Lovat Somers and his German wife Harriet visit New South Wales. Harriet – who is loosely based on Frieda Lawrence - observes that in Australia “everybody carried a suitcase". At one point, a woman knocks on their door and opens-up her suitcase to reveal two cabbages and half a pumpkin for sale. Harriet surmises that “Australian suitcases were always flying open, and discharging groceries or a skinned rabbit or three bottles of beer. One had the impression that everybody was perpetually going away for the weekend: with a suitcase." Source: D.H. Lawrence Digital Pilgrimage  

'Autumn Rain' was first published in the Egoist in February 1917. It can be read as a war poem due to references to the 'sheaves of pain' but we just wanted to share something autumnal with you.    
Autumn Rain
The plane leaves
fall black and wet
on the lawn;
the cloud sheaves
in heaven’s fields set
droop and are drawn
in falling seeds of rain;
the seed of heaven
on my face
falling — I hear again
like echoes even
that softly pace
heaven’s muffled floor,
the winds that tread
out all the grain
of tears, the store
in the sheaves of pain
caught up aloft:
the sheaves of dead
men that are slain
now winnowed soft
on the floor of heaven;
manna invisible
of all the pain
here to us given;
finely divisible
falling as rain.


If you want anything included in the bulletin, lob it over to me ( or Brenda (      .  


Wednesday 11 November 7pm


For anyone wishing to join by landline phone, dial: 0203 051 2874 United Kingdom

Meeting ID: 849 4042 1574

Passcode: To be sent out closer to the time.

You will have received an email from Brenda regarding the AGM. The email includes the Agenda, the Minutes of last year’s AGM, a Chairman's Report from both Malcolm Gray and Alan Wilson and the Treasurer's Report to read in advance of the meeting. Please email Brenda with any questions you may have about any aspect of the Council’s work and the Society in general. 

As you will know, all officers of the Society, these being the Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and five other appointments drawn from the membership, should be elected at the AGM. I can inform you that those members who currently hold these offices are all prepared to continue in their posts as are the two co-opted members to the Council. The Constitution does allow for three co-optees at any time. I would invite any member who has an interest in joining the Council to notify me by 4th November 2020 in order that I can inform all members of any forthcoming election on the evening of 11th November 2020 in accordance with the Constitution.



Bob Hayward and Malcolm Gray will be leading a poetry discussion after the formal AGM on 11th November at 7pm. Poems to be discussed (time permitting) include:

The Old Idea of Sacrifice

Bawdy Can Be Sane




Friday 27 November (6.30-8.30)

Zoom link
For more details, please contact: 

The D.H. Lawrence Memory Theatre, James Walker

This talk, by yours truly, will put forward the argument that we need to be more imaginative in how we celebrate literary heritage if we want to attract new audiences to Lawrence’s work. The first part of the talk will explore the rationale behind the D. H Lawrence Memory Theatre by proving a brief historical sketch of Cabinets of Curiosities. The second half will provide an opportunity for you to submit an artefact to the memory theatre. Our theme is rage, so please bring many examples of this with you (from Lawrence’s work, rather than your general demeanour.)  

From the JDHLS archives
Susan Reid, JDHLS editor

Have you ever wondered which famous people from the past to invite to your ideal dinner party? Would Lawrence or any of his characters make your list? Pamela Stadden’s 1997 essay might help you decide! Her refreshing approach to the perennial question of Lawrence’s misogyny is to put his male characters to the test: “would I, as a woman, want to spend time with Birkin or Gerald or Richard Somers or even Oliver Mellors?” Stadden takes each of them on an imaginary dinner date that extrapolates from their fictional traits. But are Birkin and Gerald more interested in each other? Does Somers have commitment issues? And is Mellors truly a “sexual moron” (A Propos of ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’)? For answers to these questions and more, read Stadden’s entertaining take on ‘Lawrence’s datable males: Birkin and Gerald, Richard Somers and Oliver Mellors as acceptable dinner companions’ (JDHLS 1997), now available online here
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:

Lawrence and Academia 


A detailed assessment of D. H. Lawrence’s wide-ranging engagements across the verbal, visual and performance arts

Offers the most comprehensive assessment yet of Lawrence’s relationship with the arts

Places Lawrence in the context of the latest developments in fields including life writing, posthumanism, queer theory, and technology studies

Considers Lawrence's continued reception in other people's art, and the nature of his relevance today...and is only £150!!!!

This book includes twenty-eight innovative chapters by specialists from across the arts, reassessing Lawrence’s relationship to aesthetic categories and specific art forms in their historical and critical contexts. A new picture of Lawrence as an artist emerges, expanding from traditional areas of enquiry in prose and poetry into the fields of drama, painting, sculpture, music, architecture, dance, historiography, life writing and queer aesthetics. The Companion presents original research on topics such as Lawrence’s politics in his art, his representations of technology, his practice of revising and rewriting, and the relationship between his criticism and creation of prose, poetry and painting. This interdisciplinary Companion also makes a strong case for Lawrence’s continuing relevance and aesthetic power, as represented by case studies of his afterlives in biofiction, cinema, musical settings and portraiture.

D. H. Lawrence Society members, and their friends and colleagues, are warmly invited to join the Zoom launch celebration of The Edinburgh Companion to D. H. Lawrence and the Arts.


Saturday 28th November 2020 at 8.00 pm UK time (GMT). Save the date: joining details to follow.

Three guest speakers will mark the occasion:

·        Booker Prize-winning novelist and social commentator, Howard Jacobson

·        the volume’s commissioning editor from Edinburgh University Press, Jackie Jones

·        Goldsmiths’ Professor of English at Oxford University, Laura Marcus

For further details of The Edinburgh Companion to D. H. Lawrence and the Arts, edited by Catherine Brown and Susan Reid, visit

Discount code NEW30.



Torpedo the Ark included eight new posts on the work of D. H. Lawrence this month:

(1) D. H. Lawrence's Daimonic Dendrophilia - a post in which we discover why Lawrence hates Wallace Smith's illustrations for Ben Hecht's 1922 novel "Fantazius Mallare" ...
(2) D. H. Lawrence is all the Rage - a post anticipating James Walker's upcoming presentation to the Lawrence London Group ...
(3) Reflections on TB in the Age of Coronavirus - a post that puts the present pandemic in medico-historical and Lawrentian context ...
(4) D. H. Lawrence and Trans Issues - it might not be fair to retrospectively label Lawrence and his work transphobic, but his essentialism makes it tempting to do so ...
(5) A Brief Note on the Question of Scale in the Work of D. H. Lawrence -
a post inspired by Catherine Brown's recent presentation to the DHLS on this topic ...
(6) How Kindness Gives Way to Cruelty - a reading of an incident in 'Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine' involving a dog and a personal observation on the difficulties of providing care for an elderly person with Alzheimer's ...
(7) Reflections on the Killing of a Porcupine - a reconsideration of Lawrence's animal ethics ...

(8) Travel/Writing - Travel and literature is an interesting topic, but travel as literature is philosophically more important ...

From the Archive...

In issue 4 of the newsletter, published in summer 1976, there was great excitement about the opening of a certain Birthplace Museum...



Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say online...

Return to Sea and Sardinia
January 2021 sees the centenary of D.H. Lawrence’s documented trip that resulted in his acclaimed book, Sea and Sardinia. It was the topic of the October London group discussion and now is set to get a multimedia makeover.

Return to Sea and Sardinia will follow in the footsteps of Lawrence’s journey exactly 100 years on from the day he set out.

Documenting the journey will be Daniele Marzeddu; a multi award-winning director experienced in documentary filmmaking. Daniele was born in Italy in 1978. He usually calls himself son of emigration, and he is a sort of stateless person. Having lived in South Austria, Venice, Portugal, Spain and several different cities in Europe, he has settled in the UK since 2015.

The centre piece of the project will be the film that records Lawrence’s retraced journey – scheduled for release at arts and cultural venues across the UK and Sardinia in April 2021.

Return to Sea and Sardinia will also curate captured material into a limited-edition photo book, featuring a commentary about the locations and scenes as they existed in Lawrence’s day and also today, 100 years on.

The objective of Return to Sea and Sardinia is to capture an historical record that appropriately marks the centenary of D. H. Lawrence’s travel to Sardinia. In doing so, we hope to arise an interest in Lawrence’s life and works as well as in the Sardinian culture.

Supporters of the project will be given an opportunity to have themselves credited on the photo book and/or film produced as record.

Support the project via GoFundMe



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