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Welcome to the September 2021 bulletin... 



In Sea and Sardinia, Lawrence observes ‘Lemon trees, like Italians, seem to be happiest when they are touching one another’. As we slowly crawl out of lockdown and pluck up the courage to be social beings once more, I suspect we all feel a bit like Lemon trees. To be clear – these are very sensitive times – your editor is not encouraging unsolicited touching of one another next time we all get to meet up in person, but it would be lovely to brush shoulders with each other and hear the echo of voices in a room.

Your first opportunity for shoulder rubbing is the Lawrence Festival Walk on Wednesday 8 September when hopefully there will be no bovine bullies taunting your editor with their ‘wicked eyes’ as there were a few years ago. And for those of you for whom Zoom has become a best friend, please note that our Birthday Lecture and Leavis/Lawrence Day are both online.           

In eager anticipation at the launch of the Return to Sea and Sardinia film, see further down the bulletin, your editor has been reading Lawrence's correspondence with Jan Juta, the South African painter who produced the illustrations for Lawrence’s travel book as well as the oil painting of Lawrence that currently hangs in the National Gallery.

The letters demonstrate that Lawrence was involved in every aspect of the production process and is determined to include his illustrations, even though London publishers were ‘jumping for fright at the thought of colour expense!’ He writes to Curtis Brown – his new UK agent – stating he does not want Thomas Secker to publish the book because ‘it would fall dead flat’ and such is his willingness to have a professionally produced book he is willing to take a ‘very small royalty if cost of production is so alarming to the poor souls’.

By 12 June 1921, Lawrence is more buoyant towards Secker – he had just received the remaining advance for Women in Love from him – and begins pleading the case for Sea and Sardinia and Juta’s illustrations. Like a naughty child offsetting the affection of duelling parents, he warns ‘for the Lord’s Sake, don’t let Curtis Brown imagine I write you any business. It is high treason in his eyes’.

But my favourite of Lawrence’s letters to Juta is dated the 29 June and reads like a printing brochure, with precise detail of costs, exchange rates, sizes, plate engravings, and his determination to ’force the hands of the publishers’ and not ‘let them off’.

Modern writers today may bemoan the fact that they are expected to have a strong social media presence and promote their own work across platforms, but it is unlikely any are quite so committed as Lawrence was. 

The correspondence with Juta can be found in Volume IV of The Letters of D.H. Lawrence – which we happen to have a copy of at Breach House (see Kate Fosters lockin’ in the Clat-Farting section). If you want to learn more about the correspondence then please read the article ‘Publishing Sea and Sardinia: Letters to Jan Juta’ at The Digital Pilgrimage 

Right, let's get on with the business of celebrating a certain person's birthday...

 
 

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

 
 

The Society Festival will take place this year on two days, Wednesday 8 September and Saturday 11 September.

 

THE LAWRENCE FESTIVAL WALK
Wednesday 8 September (1.30pm)

Why not join us for the Lawrence Festival Walk around Lawrence’s beautiful countryside, ending at Greasley Church, where the church will be open for us to visit, followed by a cream tea at the Greasley Church coffee shop. Please let our treasurer Sheila Bamford know if you wish to join us (01773436776) (johnbamford46@googlemail.com) and whether you require a cream tea priced £7.00. We will meet in the Greasley Church car park at 1.30pm. The walk will be approximately three miles and last about one and a half hours. There is plenty of parking in the church lay by.

 

LAWRENCE LEAVIS DAY by Zoom
Saturday 11 September (10am - 12 and 2pm - 4pm) 

The day is essentially about four 'controversial' figures in Lawrence's life and will follow this order:  Dr. Paul Filmer on Lydia Lawrence, Malcolm Gray on Arthur Lawrence, Kate Foster on Jessie Chambers and Professor John Worthen on Frieda Lawrence. The aim is to stimulate discussion and we will send more details nearer the time. 

 

THE BIRTHDAY LECTURE by Zoom
Saturday 11 September (7pm)

We are pleased to invite members to the Birthday Lecture, which this year will be given by Professor Keith Cushman, his subject is “Affirmation and Anxiety in Lady Chatterley’s Lover”.

Joining details will be sent nearer the time.




Derek Aram Time and Tide and other books related to Louise Burrows

I have long had a soft spot for Louise Burrows – and feel really sorry that she became for DHL a sort of emotional stop-gap, her love and loyalty rewarded by being unceremoniously set aside by him.  So I was delighted when an opportunity arose to buy two volumes, which had once belonged to Louie.

The first is Earl and Achsah Brewster’s ‘D H Lawrence Reminiscences and Correspondence’, signed in ink ‘Louise Burrows/ Coteshall /Quorn’.  Although unannotated, Louie had loosely inserted two separate pages from the weekly magazine Time and Tide; the first dated 4 March 1933 carried DHL’s poem ‘The Hands of God’, whilst the second, clearly of similar date but missing the top of the page, includes ‘Red Geranium and Godly Mignonette’, so Louie was evidently keeping an eye open for Lawrence references three years after his passing.

[As a chilling aside the reverse of this page displays this topical 1930s cartoon: the young ‘Brownshirt’ and the art-deco dressed lady quite solidly place this edition of ‘Time and Tide’ in the early thirties; the sentiment expressed in the bye-line tells of the awful times ahead!]

Louie’s second volume provides a rich seam of her thoughts and opinions.  

It is Catherine Carswell’s ‘The Savage Pilgrimage’ in Secker’s revised edition following John Middleton Murry’s famous lego-petulant strop!  Although not signed by Louie the book’s fascination lies in seven annotations both in pencil and ink, clearly in her hand and with the same nib, which signed the Brewster volume.

It may strike as curious but her first note does not appear until page 250, by which time Carswell is dealing with DHL’s last four or five years.  It concerns a quote about ‘Apocalypse’... “the magnificently measured Apocalypse, with its profound understanding of Christianity, such an understanding as true repudiation requires”, against which Louie writes in pencil a large question mark and vertical line.
Three pages later Carswell writes “... Sutton-on-Sea and Mablethorpe, places where he had been on holiday four years before the death of his mother, when he was a youth of nineteen.”  Here Louie underlines in pencil the words “four years” and “nineteen” writing in the margin ‘X wrong’.

At the foot of page 264 and top of page 265 Carswell quotes Murry’s contention that DHL ...”pretends a harmony between impulses which were verily contradictory, thus nailing the flag of the civilized consciousness to the mast and hauling it down in a single operation.”  Carswell, agreeing with this view, goes on to assert however, that this should not be seen as a gibe or regret, because DHL “...has enabled us to deny the spiritual consciousness and to assert it in the same breath, to love the world and hate it at the same moment, to nail the flag of civilized consciousness to the mast and to haul it down in a single operation.”  In this Carswell claims ‘we have said one of the most important things about Lawrence that can be said’.  At the top of the page above this latter sentence Louie writes in pencil ‘what are you getting at admit that he was incoherent’.  [It may be of note that many years before on 23 December 1907 DHL had written a letter to Louie containing: “While you are over here we propose having a discussion among ourselves on the ultimate questions of philosophy raised in the education class– a discussion of a ‘Universal Consciousness’ for instance...” ]

On page 286 Carswell writes: “During the difficult printing [of Lady Chatterley’s Lover] he fell ill.  Frieda, who had gone from Les Diablerets to see her mother, was not yet back from Germany.”  [In a letter dated 27 February 1928 DHL confirms that Frieda had left that morning to spend a week with her mother at Baden Baden.]  Louie underlines in pencil the words ‘see her mother’ and adds ‘!!!’ in the margin.
Carswell writes on page 287 “Enid Hilton’s mother had been Lawrence’s mother’s dearest friend long before at Eastwood and her father a staunch friend since Lawrence’s boyhood.”  In the right margin Louie has bracketed the two quoted lines in ink with the words ‘silly fabrication’.

On page 291 Carswell describes DHL’s sister Ada’s visit to see him at Bandol at Christmas 1929... “As always, Lawrence was glad to see her; but he knew that now, save in his affections, he was out of touch with this dearest member of his family, who was also the sole remaining link with his youth.”  Louie draws a wavy pencil line through that last clause beginning with ‘sole’.

And finally... page 297 contains a description of Frieda’s visit on DHL’s behalf to see the exhibition of his paintings at the Warren Gallery and to attend with Carswell the party afterwards.  Carswell writes “She wore a gay shawl, red shoes and a sheaf of lilies – the last to symbolize Lawrence’s purity.”  In the margin Louie simply inks in the words ‘Mad woman’.

I leave the reader to their own interpretations, if any, of Louie’s thoughts and comments, probably written three short years following DHL’s death; my purpose in recording them here is to add just a few more pieces to the vast Lawrence jig-saw.


Visit the Time and Tide magazine website here

Yearly programme of talks 2021-22

Saturday 11 September 2021 at 7pm by Zoom

 The D. H. Lawrence Society Birthday Lecture

 Keith Cushman

“Affirmation and Anxiety in Lady Chatterley’s Lover” 

   

 Wednesday 13 October 2021 at 7pm by Zoom

 Bob Hayward

 “Original Sin and D. H. Lawrence”

 

Wednesday 10 November 2021 at 7pm by Zoom

 Kathleen Vella

 “Tea with D. H. Lawrence at Casa Cuseni, Taormina.”

 

December 2021 Christmas event in Eastwood tba

 

Wednesday 12 January 2022 at 7pm in Eastwood and by Zoom

 David Amos 

“Coal in the Blood: An East Midlands Coal Mining Anthology”.

 

Wednesday 9 February 2022 at 7pm in Eastwood and by Zoom

Sean Matthews

“Contemporary Fiction after Lawrence: Rachel Cusk, Alison MacLeod and the Lawrentian Imperative.”"

 

Wednesday 9 March 2022 at 7pm in Eastwood and by Zoom

Andrew Cooper and Kate Foster

“It really was a new life began in me there.’ The vital significance of Haggs Farm and Jessie Chambers to DH Lawrence”.

 

Wednesday 13 April 2022 at 7pm in Eastwood and by Zoom

Sue Reid

“'All that could be desired of a poetess': Lawrence and Rachel Annand Taylor.”

 

Wednesday 11 May 2022 at 7pm in Eastwood and by Zoom

Jonathan Long

“D. H. Lawrence and the Seltzers”

 

Wednesday 8 June 2022 at 7pm in Eastwood and by Zoom

Richard Keeble

"'The Extraordinary Power of Imagination': Orwell's Passion for Lawrence”

 

13 July AGM at 7pm in Eastwood and by Zoom.

Lawrence and Academia 


 

Kathleen Vella shares her thoughts on the recent virtual symposium 'D. H. Lawrence, Distance and Proximity

When I was asked to write about my experience of this year’s D. H. Lawrence Symposium, I honestly did not know where to start from. As a post-graduate student, seeking to finalise my Ph.D. thesis on D. H. Lawrence by next year, I knew from the onset that I had a lot to gain from attending such a great event, so much so that I took three days off from work, despite it being a new job, to be able to enjoy the entire experience.

I will start from the over-arching sentiment that immediately impressed not only me, but which was incidentally voiced by several participants: how diverse Lawrence’s work is! Someone said ‘Lawrence has something for everyone!’ Diverse in genre, form, subject, theme, style, tone, scale, pitch, objective…how all-encompassing he is as a writer. And this explains how a writer can bring people from all over the world to share novel perspectives on his work and to find this fascinating enough to spend 5 full days of blissful discussion and discourse on all-things Lawrentian.

However it wasn’t only ‘Lawrence’s multifarious-ness’ to bring people together from the all the ‘corners’ of the world. Sue Reid had something to do with it too! Of course this Symposium was no easy feat to organise. The scale of the event, in and of itself, was a considerable achievement and Susan Reid was applauded in a virtual rendition of a (quite emotional and teary-for-some of-us) standing ovation, and a neologism to boot (!) which was penned by one of the participants who commented: “From now on, all conferences ought to conclude with what we shall call a “Sue Reid Reading (or a Closure ‘Reiding’!)”. Sue’s brilliant idea to have a selection of speakers read a favourite excerpt from Lawrence’s work had a few of us in tears as these readings were read with such performative emotion and such a resonance on a personal dimension that we felt there was no better way in which such a fantastic event could have been closed. Kate Foster’s reading was particularly personal and emotional. Professor Nick Ceramella read his captivating piece from ‘Twilight in Italy’ perfectly staged with a background Mazurka in the background, cicadas as backing ‘vocals’ and jasmine trees as a visual backdrop which we were all somehow smelling! His multisensorial albeit sensually passionate rendition of the selected piece was quite charged and he later professed it was actually toned down and tamed due to his grandchildren’s presence in the house! A performance emanating from the Solar Plexus and ‘the lower ganglion’ that Lorenzo would have approved of! There was also thanks, praise and appreciation directed to Kate Foster of course who works tirelessly for the Society and the D. H. Lawrence Society Committee and all those who in some way or form contributed to making this event a huge success.

On my part, as a doctoral student, logging in every morning in these unsettling and troubled pandemic times, from the indiscernible-on-a-map, dot of the tiny island of Malta, this event was to say the least, mind-blowing. Suffice to say that the line-up of key speakers who not only read their ‘papers’ but were open for discussion and who participated in a very down to earth manner left an unforgettable impression on me of a very personal level. Perhaps it may not occur to most of you that for a doctoral student like myself, who regularly quotes and references works written by many of you, being able to hear you speak and discuss in person, and to be able to participate in events like these is a huge honour and frankly, quite surreal. I have most of your books on my desk here and felt genuinely honoured, not to say lucky, to be listening to you speak. My emotive hyperboles obviously emanate from sheer respect and admiration.



One of the highlights of this particular emotion was the Picture Postcards (a colour and collage) Workshop, which I participated in, convened by Susan, led by artist Rebecca Loweth (Slade, 2015). This visual workshop, which aimed to make us ‘look again at how we communicate through the colours and composition of images’, was framed by a selection of Lawrence’s picture postcards curated by Jonathan Long. I will never forget cutting out lozenges of colour from glossy magazines and avidly attempting to re-create a Lawrentian post-card of a Garda scene, while hearing Professor John Worthen enjoying the process in the background. Sticking all the bits of coloured paper into a picture postcard while hearing him, Sue and other participants compare notes was such fun! Someone actually beat us all to it by claiming ‘Here’s one I prepared earlier!’ But I will not disclose who that was. I was still cutting away when that wonderful piece of art was presented. I still have my collage here on my desk and I smile every time I look at it as it reminds me of a moment in time when we all took a break from life to dive into a fun activity, reminiscent of younger years when we had hours for art and crafts and such projects for school art homework. That hour really flew!

Paper after paper ensued and the polyphonic, multifariousness of Lawrences’s shifting and contradictory narratives only proved to an exponential degree as the conference progressed, that Lawrence’s meta-narrative does indeed represent the human condition, which is to continually construct and de-construct reality. No story is ever the final story with Lawrence. No perspective is ever the final perspective. He brings us in, as participant readers to partake of his work, to add and to elicit some of our own narratives ultimately resulting in more people who are ‘equipped’ to understand human possibilities.

I would like to thank you all for sharing the Lawrence that you all know, many of you in such a richer context than I will ever hope to have, either because of the mastery, extensive lifework and research you have carried out in your lives, others because you were born in Lawrence’s Nottingham or in Eastwood, whilst others, simply because of a different outlook or interest related to Lawrence that you may have which is not my own. I would like to thank you all for being such a welcoming society and a warm group of people who make me feel welcome.

A heartfelt thanks to you all for making this possible despite all the challenges we currently all face. On a positive note on the contemporary context, perhaps some of the participants would not have participated had the event been organised without the opportunity to attend virtually. However the sentiment is still too resonant not to mention: I look forward to meeting you all in person. Meanwhile, whether virtually or not, here’s to many, many more such Symposia and events!

On the Box



On the Box this month is a two minute YouTube video created to celebrate Lawrence's birthday month and features this quote from The White Peacock.

"I was born in September, and love it best of all the months. There is no heat, no hurry, no thirst and weariness in corn harvest as there is in the hay. If the season is late, as is usual with us, then mid-September sees the corn still standing in stook. The mornings come slowly. The earth is like a woman married and fading; she does not leap up with a laugh for the first fresh kiss of dawn, but slowly, quietly, unexpectantly lies watching the waking of each new day. The blue mist, like memory in the eyes of a neglected wife, never goes from the wooded hill, and only at noon creeps from the near hedges."


You can read more about how and why this video was created here  or you can just watch it on YouTube here  
 

Here's the July and August posts from Stephen Alexander's Torpedo the Ark.

1. The Obscene Beyond: It Is So Lovely Within the Crack
Read here  

2. Rabbit: On the Obscene Beyond and Other Abhorrent Mysteries
Read here

3. The Scar is the Eye of the Violet: On Stigmatophilia and Sexual Healing
Read here

4. That City of Dreadful Night: D. H. Lawrence's Letters from Paris
Read here

5. I Had So Much Rather the Cetaur Had Slain Hercules ...
Read here

6. Aphantasia: On Eliminating the Imagination
Read here

And these two were published in August

7. On Marriage, Adultery and Slut Shaming (With Reference to the Case of Lady Chatterley)

Most readers of Lady Chatterley's Lover agree that Oliver Mellors was a nasty piece of work, but was Connie any better; or was she a spoilt and selfish young woman who put her own happiness above any other considerations, exasperating even her own sister...?
Read here



8. All Change: Notes on Metamorphoses (2021) by Emanuele Coccia

The Italian philosopher Emanuele Coccia writes of an interspecies community living in a society of the future conceived in terms of what he calls contemporary nature. Here, Stephen Alexander reads this in relation to Lawrence's democracy of touch.

Read here
 
Return to Sea and Sardinia update



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 raise an interest in Lawrence's life and works as well as in the Sardinian culture’. The team raised £1,630 of their £5,000 goal so there is still time to donate should you wish to support the project. You can do so here

In August they visited Antonio Pasqualino (@museodellemarionette) where they were given permission to film the traditional puppets show (the above picture is taken from their Instagram account). The film is in postproduction at the moment and will be presented during 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.

For more information, please see the project website here
 
 

Rosemary Howard was instrumental in helping to develop Lawrence’s reputation through her decades of service as society secretary and newsletter editor. She passed away on 25 July 2017. A plum tree was planted at Breach House in memory of her and this year it has started to bear fruit. Ruth Hall said that the memorial service at Breach House, attended by Rosemary’s family, included various readings including this plum-related one was from The White Peacock.     
 
“After a while we went out also, before the light faded altogether from the pond. Emily took us into the lower garden, to get some ripe plums. The old garden was very low. The soil was black. The cornbind and goosegrass were clutching at the ancient gooseberry bushes, which sprawled by the paths. The garden was not very productive, save of weeds, and perhaps, tremendous lank artichokes or swollen marrows. But at the bottom, where the end of the farm buildings rose high and grey, there was a plum tree which had been crucified to the wall, and which had broken away and leaned forward from bondage. Now under the boughs were hidden great mist-bloomed crimson treasures, splendid globes. I shook the old, ragged trunk, green, with even the fresh gum dulled over, and the treasures fell heavily, thudding down among the immense rhubarb leaves below. The girls laughed, and we divided the spoil, and turned back to the yard.”


 
From the JDHLS Archives
 


Curvetting bits of tin in the evening light”. This striking line struck me anew in Thérèse Vichy’s attentive reading of “Lawrence’s ‘Fish’” in JDHLS 1991 3-vichy-1.pdf (wordpress.com). I confess that I had never given due attention to Lawrence’s use of the word “curvetting”, unerringly glossed by Vichy as “horse-leap” (18). Creative writers will envy the perfection of “curvetting”; its sound and rhythm, its play on the more familiar “curve” and its border-crossing between the worlds of fish and horse.

Vichy’s essay is a masterclass in attention to word choice, and much more, since this is also her point of departure for a comparison with Rupert Brooke’s “The Fish”. Brooke’s poem (from the first collection of Georgian Poetry that Lawrence reviewed) begins: “In a cool curving world he lies / And ripples with dark ecstasies” (for full text see:
The Rupert Brooke Society - The Fish). We may now read “Curvetting” as an improvement on Brooke’s “curving” since Lawrence, as Vichy points out, eschews words as obvious as “ripples” (17). “Above all”, she writes, “detached observation and sensuous empathy meet and enhance each other as they never do with Brooke”. Such poetic detachment and empathy allows a glimpse into “a non-human dimension, where opposites like isolation and relatedness can be reconciled” (25), and so Lawrence also comes into proximity with the Metaphysical poets (closer perhaps than Brooke who was declared “Donne Redivivus” [17]).

“Fish”, unsurprisingly then, recurred in papers heard at July’s symposium, “D. H. Lawrence, Distance and Proximity” ‒ including Benjamin Bouche’s study of “Distance and Proximity in ‘Fish’” ‒ which will soon be available (in their original, unedited format) on JDHLS Online. Meanwhile, for further reflections on “Fish”, by Michael Bell and by Neil Rollinson, see respectively JDHLS 2014 and JDHLS 2016. Published articles from 1989 to 2019 are all freely available online, so please dive in to 
www.journalofdhlawrencestudies.com and write to the bulletin about your finds.

Susan Reid / JDHLS Editor


 
D.H. Lawrence Dialect Alphabet


 
If you're a miner with a gammy leg then you might need help being hawksed around. Just ask David Amos...

Source: D.H. Lawrence Memory Theatre
 



Keith Sagar's widow Melissa has asked Neil Roberts for advice about selling his Cambridge University Press Lawrence books. The list includes:

Letters - 8 volumes
Poems - 2 volumes
Plays - 1 volume

Novels

The White Peacock, Sons and Lovers, The Trespasser, The Lost Girl, Aaron’s Rod, The Rainbow, Women in Love, Kangaroo, Mr Noon, The first Women in Love, The Boy in the Bush,
The Plumed Serpent, Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Short stories

Love Among the Haystacks ,The Woman who Rode Away, The Prussian Officer, England my England, The Fox The Ladybird The Captain’s Doll, The Virgin and the Gypsy, St Mawr

Essays
Study of Thomas Hardy, Studies in Classic American Literature, Apocalypse and the writings on Revelation, Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine, Movements in European History

Travel writings
Twilight in Italy, Sea and Sardinia, Etruscan Places

All are hardbacks and in near-new condition. Ideally Melissa would like to sell them as a set. It is worth pointing out that we are not a bookseller and we are not on a commission. We simply thought this was worth mentioning in the bulletin given that Sagar was such a distinguished Lawrence scholar. 

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Kate Foster got so frustrated with the miserable weather that she buried herself away for a couple of days at Breach House to produce a definitive list of books stored there. It's quite the bibliography and a reminder that we have many books for your delectation. Your editor understands what an arduous task this is because he too has spent a couple of days hiding away at Breach House because of the miserable weather. On this occasion he was conscripted by Malcolm Gray to move the collection out of storage and litter them over every available space at Breach House. This was done with fervid aplomb and so apologies to Kate for the paperbacks on top of the latrine and other such out-of-reach places.   
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If you want to learn a bit more about Quetzalcoatl (aka the plumed serpent) then have a listen to Neil MacGregor's A History of the World in 100 Objects. This is discussed in the episode 'The First Global Economy (1450 -1600AD) - Double-Headed Serpent' which was broadcast on 18 August but can be heard again on BBC Sounds here     

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Literature Cambridge have a new Lawrence-related online study session: Class Conflict and Lady Chatterley's Lover (1929), with Hugh Stevens. • 21 Nov. 2021, 6 pm. You can book tickets here
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The latest review of The Burning Man, published in The Los Angeles Times, leads with the headline 'D.H. Lawrence hated women writers. Now they get to speak'. You can read it here but be warned that the reviewer clearly hates Lawrence and doesn't really allow the book to speak, instead focussing more on Rachel Cusk's latest novel.  


Lawrence and Me: Carolyn Melbourne



Carolyn Melbourne is a Museum and Collections Officer but better known to us as the friendly and informative face at the Birthplace Museum. She joined the council at the recent AGM.



I ended up working at the museum as I’ve always been a massive history geek, although I didn’t necessarily have a background in heritage at the time.  When the job came up it was the next in a long line of part-time jobs that I could fit around childcare, but I thought I would find it more interesting than pulling pints, or serving hot dogs in Ikea.  It was once I’d got the job that I really got into heritage.  I did a degree while working (all hail the Open University!), I did all the CPD I could get my hands on and am currently doing the AMA with the Museums Association.

I suppose I should admit that it was only once I’d got the job that I really got into Lawrence too.  I was aware of him of course, being local it would be hard not to be, but it was then that I discovered just how interesting his life story was.  Not to mention the genres his writing spanned; travel writing and essays, as well as the poems and novels.  I am now a bona-fide Lawrence fan, and part of the camp that thinks he was probably a genius.  When I’m working front of house I’m often asked if I’ve read everything he’s written.  I haven’t, but I do continue to read him, and to re-read him, always gleaning something new each time I do.

My relationship with Lawrence is very much tied up with the built heritage of Eastwood, his early years spent here and the objects within the museum collection.  I’m very happy for this opportunity to be a representative for the museum at society meetings.  One thing I am particularly looking forward to is being able to discuss some items from the collection with the society.  I just know that there will be those amongst you who can help me to fill in the blanks and possibly even discover hidden stories behind objects.  The museum may have been open since 1976 but a museum and its collection are never ‘finished’, and there is always room to better understand what we have.

 

From the Archives

As we make tentative plans to return to live speaking events in Eastwood it's worth recalling some of the concerns that have pre-occupied previous events and speakers, such as whether it's ethical to ask a 94 year-old woman to give a talk to members. But what your editor finds most shocking about this extract from Newsletter 5, 1976, is that the talk took place on a 'stifling hot evening'. After our wet soggy August, good weather in the UK seems preposterous.  


 

 
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