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Alpha and Omega

Dan Jacobson, 5 February 1981

Apocalypse and the Writings on Revelation 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Mara Kalnins.
Cambridge, 249 pp., £12.50, October 1980, 0 521 22407 1
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... Lawrence on the Revelation which was vouchsafed to the biblical John of Patmos? Those who know both writers can only fear the worst. Woozy metaphysics. Wild history. Blood-stained theology. Vituperation galore. Promises of chaos to come. Even more dismaying glimpses of redemption to follow ...

Apocalypse

David Trotter, 14 September 1989

The Rainbow 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Mark Kinkead-Weekes.
Cambridge, 672 pp., £55, March 1989, 0 521 22869 7
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D.H. Lawrence in the Modern World 
edited by Peter Preston and Peter Hoare.
Macmillan, 221 pp., £29.50, May 1989, 0 333 45269 0
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D.H. Lawrence and the Phallic Imagination: Essays on Sexual Identity and Feminist Misreading 
by Peter Balbert.
Macmillan, 190 pp., £27.50, June 1989, 0 333 43964 3
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... That E.M. Forster gave only two cheers for democracy, but three for D.H. Lawrence, on the occasion of Lawrence’s death, is well-known. Forster was upset that the lowbrows Lawrence scandalised had joined forces with the highbrows he bored to denigrate ‘the greatest imaginative novelist’ of his generation ...

Men in Love

Paul Delany, 3 September 1987

Women in Love 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by David Farmer, Lindeth Vasey and John Worthen.
Cambridge, 633 pp., £40, May 1987, 0 521 23565 0
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The Letters of D.H. LawrenceVol. IV, 1921-24 
edited by Warren Roberts, James Boulton and Elizabeth Mansfield.
Cambridge, 627 pp., £35, May 1987, 0 521 23113 2
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... Lawrence’s maxim ‘we shed our sicknesses in books’ is usually applied to Sons and Lovers, where he disposed of his nearly fatal over-attachment to his mother. But Women in Love is a cathartic novel too, though here the sickness is less easy to cure. The sickness itself is obvious enough: it is misanthropy, a continuous rage at almost everyone around ...

At the National Portrait Gallery

Peter Campbell: Thomas Lawrence, 6 January 2011

... In his lifetime his reputation was high, but Sir Thomas Lawrence was scarcely buried – with great pomp in the crypt of St Paul’s – before the feeling spread that his work had more brilliance than substance. Victorians, who disliked the morals and manners of the leaders of Regency society, found them reflected in Lawrence’s frequently showy pictures of the men, their wives, their mistresses and their children – legitimate and otherwise ...

Seeing in the Darkness

James Wood, 6 March 1997

D.H. LawrenceTriumph To Exile 1912-22 
by Mark Kinkead-Weekes.
Cambridge, 943 pp., £25, August 1996, 0 521 25420 5
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... Taking the clapper out of the bell makes no sense, but this is what we do too often with D.H. Lawrence. The writer who seemed to believe in dualisms – blindness over sight, blood over mind, pagan over modern, and so on – gets broken into two like a stable door. Readers, critics and biographers insist on splitting Lawrence into writer or preacher, dogmatist or poet ...

Whacks

D.A.N. Jones, 4 March 1982

The Works of Witter Bynner: Selected Letters 
edited by James Kraft.
Faber, 275 pp., £11, January 1982, 0 374 18504 2
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A Memoir of D.H. LawrenceThe Betrayal 
by G.H. Neville, edited by Carl Baron.
Cambridge, 208 pp., £18, January 1982, 0 521 24097 2
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... raw material, anxious to tell the world about their cook. George Neville went to school with D.H. Lawrence and supposed himself the ‘original’ of George Saxton in The White Peacock: in his memoir he congratulates himself upon his useful contribution to Lawrence’s conception of true manliness. Witter Bynner met ...

Among the Picts

John Sutherland, 18 August 1994

Stained Radiance: A Fictionist’s Prelude 
by J. Leslie Mitchell.
Polygon, 219 pp., £7.95, July 1993, 0 7486 6141 7
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The Speak of the Mearns 
by Lewis Grassic Gibbon.
Polygon, 268 pp., £8.95, June 1994, 0 7486 6167 0
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... Leslie Mitchell) is put forward as his country’s great 20th-century novelist: the Scottish D.H. Lawrence. Gibbon’s reputation substantially rests on A Scots Quair (‘quire’ – or ‘gathering of sheets’), also called ‘The Mearns Trilogy’, Mearns being an ancient name for Kincardineshire, now itself an ancient name after the county reorganisation ...

Coldstream

Lawrence Gowing, 19 March 1987

... Coldstream’s time at the GPO Film Unit was coming to an end, but his association with John Grierson had a lasting effect. I cannot remember if I became aware of the doctrine at the pub or at the Group Theatre Film School where I first heard Coldstream teach with typically paradoxical practicality. Grierson held it to be naive as well as wicked to ...

What was left out

Lawrence Rainey: Eliot’s Missing Letters, 3 December 2009

The Letters of T.S. Eliot, Vol. I: 1898-1922 
edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton.
Faber, 871 pp., £35, November 2009, 978 0 571 23509 4
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... that you had gone.’ He can’t write enough poetry to make anyone happy. To the publisher John Rodker, who wants to issue a volume of new poems, he confesses sheepishly: ‘I am sorry for the misunderstanding. I don’t think there is enough new stuff for more than 25 pages, but perhaps I shall have more by the end of June. I hope so.’ Elementary ...

Bert’s Needs

Patricia Beer, 25 March 1993

Lawrence’s Women: The Intimate Life of D.H. Lawrence 
by Elaine Feinstein.
HarperCollins, 275 pp., £18, January 1993, 0 00 215364 5
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... not make readers fear that they are being lured to yet another study of the great man himself. Lawrence’s Women really is about the women in his life. They are not just lining the route. Neither should readers suspect that the word ‘intimate’ in the subtitle means that they are going to be told more about ...

Lost in Beauty

Michael Newton: Montgomery Clift, 7 October 2010

The Passion of Montgomery Clift 
by Amy Lawrence.
California, 333 pp., £16.95, May 2010, 978 0 520 26047 4
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... staining the magical purity of those early performances. In The Passion of Montgomery Clift, Amy Lawrence idiosyncratically prefers those neglected post-accident films, resistant to their mood of dejection, but alive to Clift’s quieter genius. It’s a preference that fits her method. We all know about Clift; but ...

The Man in White

Edward Pearce, 11 October 1990

The Golden Warrior: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia 
by Lawrence James.
Weidenfeld, 404 pp., £19.50, August 1990, 0 297 81087 1
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... the frantic requirements of the learned armies who on this topic dispute by night. Ultimately his Lawrence is a genuine scholar, a man of irresistible charm, a sympathiser who genuinely cared for the Arabs, but also a shocking fabricator, though more a man who told lies than a malign liar, a surprisingly good soldier (he stresses the excellence of ...

Sitting it out

Paul Sieghart, 2 August 1984

Two men were aquitted 
by Percy Hoskins.
Secker, 221 pp., £9.95, May 1984, 0 436 20161 5
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... The trial of Dr John Bodkin Adams at the Old Bailey in 1957 was one of the causes célèbres of the post-war years. Apart from sex, it had everything. Adams was a fashionable Eastbourne doctor. Portly. With a chauffeur-driven Rolls. Charged with murdering one of his rich old women patients, for a chest of silver. There were strong hints she was not his only victim ...

Lady Chatterley’s Sneakers

David Trotter, 30 August 2012

... a couple of months before he embarked on the first version of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, D.H. Lawrence gave voice – as he often did – to the hatred he felt for ‘our most modern world’. Tin cans and ‘imitation tea’ feature prominently on his list of things not to like about being ‘most modern’. Tin cans often featured on such lists, either ...

After-Lives

John Sutherland, 5 November 1992

Keepers of the Flame: Literary Estates and the Rise of Biography 
by Ian Hamilton.
Hutchinson, 344 pp., £18.99, October 1992, 0 09 174263 3
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Testamentary Acts: Browning, Tennyson, James, Hardy 
by Michael Millgate.
Oxford, 273 pp., £27.50, June 1992, 0 19 811276 9
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The Last Laugh 
by Michael Holroyd.
Chatto, 131 pp., £10.99, December 1991, 0 7011 4583 8
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Trollope 
by Victoria Glendinning.
Hutchinson, 551 pp., £20, September 1992, 0 09 173896 2
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... this time in a more objectively historical context. Hamilton offers 22 case studies, from John Donne – the first properly biographed English author – to Philip Larkin of last month’s Observer fame. Hamilton could not, if he tried, write an unreadable book. Keepers of the Flame is that rarest of modern things, lit crit with laughs. Hamilton has ...

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