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D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930), novelist, poet, playwright, painter, critic, is an icon of 20th century literature. He began writing at an early age, publishing his first novel, The White Peacock, when he was twenty-five, Sons and Lovers three years later and The Rainbow and Women in Love in his thirties. His hatred of militarism, openly expressed during the First World War, sparked a wave of vilification that forced him to leave England and embark on what he called his 'Savage Pilgrimage'. He spent the remainder of his life travelling - to America, Italy, Austria, Mexico, the South of France and Sri Lanka - and it was during this time that he wrote such classics as Sea and Sardinia, The Plumed Serpent and Lady Chatterley's Lover. With the exception of E.M. Forster, who called him 'the greatest imaginative novelist of our generation' and friends such as Aldous Huxley, Lawrence's obituarists were dismissive and hostile. It was not until The Lady Chatterley Trial thirty years after his death and the subsequent publication of the book that Lawrence was finally recognised as one of the great writers and thinkers of his age.
'He wrote something like three dozen books, of which even the worst page dances with life that could be mistaken for no other man's, while the best are admitted, even by those who hate him, to be unsurpassed.' - Catherine Carswell, Time and Tide; 'He is an extraordinarily acute noticer of the world, human and natural. And it is not just the natural world that beckons Lawrence to flood it with beautiful language. he can be as precise and compact an observer of human interaction as Flaubert or Forster.' - James Wood, The Guardian