David Herbert (D. H.) Lawrence, whose fiction has had a profound influence on twentieth-century literature, was born on September 11, 1885, in a mining village in Nottinghamshire, England. His father was an illiterate coal miner, his mother a genteel schoolteacher determined to lift her children out of the working class. His parents' unhappy marriage and his mother's strong emotional claims on her son later became the basis for Lawrence's Sons and Lovers (1913), one of the most important autobiographical novels of this century.
In 1915, his masterpiece, The Rainbow, which like it's companion novel Women In Love (1920) dealt frankly with sex, was suppressed as indecent a month after its publication. Aaron's Road (1922); Kangaroo (1923), set in Australia; and The Plumed Serpent (1926), set in Mexico, were all written during Lawrence's travels in search of political and emotional refuge and healthful climate. In 1928, already desperately ill, Lawrence wrote Lady Chatterly's Lover. Banned as pornographic, the unexpurgated edition was not allowed legal circulation in Britain until 1960. D. H. Lawrence called his life, marked by struggle, frustration, and despair "a savage enough pilgrimage." He died on March 2, 1930, at the age of forty-four, in Vence, France.
The published editions of Women in Love , probably Lawrence's greatest novel, have always been remarkably corrupt due to a lengthy, complex process of revision and transcription, a threatened libel suit, and numerous unauthorized bowdlerizations. The editors of this new Cambridge Edition have labored scrupulously to produce an authoritative text. What emerges, if not dramatically different, is fresher and more immediate. The introduction provides a valuable history of the novel's composition, revision, publication, and reception, and though the elaborate textual apparatus is strictly for advanced students of bibliography, the notes are splendid. Lawrence's 1919 Foreword and two early discarded chapters are also included. The recovery of a modern classic. Keith Cushman, Univ. of North Carolina, Greensboro