Lawrence, David Herbert

Lawrence, David Herbert (1885 - 1930)


David Herbert Lawrence was born on September 11, 1885, in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, to a coal-mining father he could sometimes despise and a mother whom he revered. Later Lawrence wrote about his life with them in Sons and Lovers. After his education, he taught at Eastwood School, and then in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, before obtaining a teaching certificate from Nottingham University College in 1908. He then became junior assistant master at Davidson Road School in Croydon until 1911, when he renounced teaching and determined to live as a writer. Capable of great and stormy loves, especially for his mother and his wife, his works focused candidly on sexual relationships. After breaking up with a succession of women, Jessie Chambers (Miriam in Sons and Lovers), Helen Corke, and his fiancee Louie Burrows, he eloped with a married woman, Frieda von Richthofen Weekley in 1912. They lived an itinerant life for the next eighteen years, visiting for a time Australia, Ceylon, Italy, Mexico, New Mexico (where he was eventually cremated and buried), and Sicily. They married July 13, 1914, and at his death she nursed him. Lawrence is best known as a novelist for works such as The White Peacock (1911), Sons and Lovers (1913), The Rainbow (1915), Women in Love (1920), The Lost Girl (1920), Aaron's Rod (1922), Kangaroo (1923), The Plumed Serpent (1926), Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928), and The Virgin and the Gypsy (1930). He also published volumes of short stories, plays, travel stretches, and critical books such as Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious (1921), Studies in Classic American Literature (1923), and Pornography and Obscenity (1929). His paintings were exhibited in London in 1929. After many years fighting tuberculosis, Lawrence died on March 2, 1930, in Vence, France. Lawrence's novels, or his short stories, or even his 5,000 letters would have been enough, individually, to establish him as a great twentieth-century writer, but he also wrote astonishing poetry. It was a passion that charted his life. His complete verse, superbly edited by Vivian de Sola Pinto and F. Warren Roberts, offers nearly 1,100 poems. Works like "Piano," the Tortoise poems, "Snake," "The Ship of Death," and "Wages" deserve the widest possible readership. Lawrence's published books of poetry are

  • Love Poems and Others. London: Duckworth, 1913. LE L4195kq Fisher Library
  • Amores. London: Duckworth, 1916. PR 6023 A93A7 Robarts Library
  • Look! We Have Come Through! London: Chatto & Windus, 1917. PR 6023 A93L6 Robarts Library
  • New Poems. London: Martin Secker, 1918. Pr 6023 A93N4 Robarts Library
  • Bay. Westminster: Cyril W. Beaumont, 1919. dun L397 B39 1919 Fisher Library
  • Tortoises. New York: Thomas Seltzer, 1921. PR 6023 A93 T6 1921 Robarts Library
  • Birds, Beasts, and Flowers. New York: Thomas Seltzer, 1923. PR 6023 A93B5 1923 Robarts Library
  • The Augustan Books of English Poetry. Second Series, Number Twenty-two. D. H. Lawrence. London: Ernest Benn, 1928. dun pam L397 A155 1934a Fisher Library
  • The Collected Poems of D. H. Lawrence, 2 vols. London: Martin Secker, 1928. PR 6023 A93A17 1929 Robarts Library.
  • Pansies: Poems. London: Martin Secker, 1929. PR 6023 A93P3 Robarts Library
  • Nettles. London: Faber & Faber, 1930. dun L397 N48 1930a Fisher Library
  • Last Poems. Ed. Richard Aldington and Giuseppe Orioli. Florence: G. Orioli, 1932. PR 6023 A93A17 Robarts Library
  • Fire and Other Poems. Foreword by Robinson Jeffers, note by Frieda Lawrence. [San Francisco:] Grabhorn Press for the Book Club of California, 1940. dun L397 F572 1940 Fisher Library.
  • The Complete Poems. Ed. Vivian de Sola Pinto and Warren Roberts. 1964: Penguin, 1993. PR 6023 A93A17 1964 Robarts Library

Essential books on Lawrence and his poetry include

  • Ellis, David. D. H. Lawrence: Dying Game 1922-1930. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. PR 6023 A93 Z62617 Robarts Library
  • Gilbert, Sandra M. Arts of Attention: The Poems of D. H. Lawrence. 2nd edn. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1990. PR 6023 A93 Z62944 1990 Robarts Library.
  • Kinkead-Weekes, Mark. D. H. Lawrence: Triumph to Exile 1912-1922. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. PR 6023 A93Z6379 Robarts Library.
  • The Letters of D. H. Lawrence. Ed. James T. Boulton. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979-. 7 vols. dun l397 a17 1979s Fisher Library
  • Moore, Harry Thornton. The Priest of Love: A Life of D. H. Lawrence. Rev. edn. New York: Ferrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1974. PR 6023 A93Z688 Robarts Library
  • Roberts, Warren. A Bibliography of D. H. Lawrence. 2nd edn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982.Z 8490.5 R63 1982 Robarts Library
Given Name
David Herbert
Family Name
Birth Date
September 11, 1885
Death Date
March 2, 1930
  • Novelist

  • School-teacher

Literary Period
Literary Movement
Cause of Death