- Category : Writer
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 2/5 - Hermit / Heretic
- Definition : Split - Small (11,43)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Rulership 3
British novelist and poet, the author of novels which include "Sons and Lovers," Women In Love," "The Rainbow," "Aaron's Rod," "The Plumed Serpent," "The Virgin and the Gypsy" and the classic "Lady Chatterley's Lover." Lawrence was one of the most controversial writers of the twentieth century who believed in the concept that man should bring his instinct into balance with his intellect. His explicit treatment of sexual fulfillment led to over three decades of censorship and ultimately to the Supreme Court.
"Bertie" was the fourth child of an abusive coal miner and a refined mother whom he idolized. After surviving bronchitis at the age of two weeks which left him in permanently delicate health, he grew to be a frail and hyper-sensitive child who was often in tears and was overly dominated by his unhappy mother Lydia. His parents' marriage was disastrous. Lydia, a refined schoolteacher, met Lawrence's father, Arthur, at a local dance, where she fell in love with him. After the wedding, she found that Arthur did not own his own house and did not work in the mining office, as she had been led to believe, but instead labored as a miner himself. Her profound disillusion and subsequent misery is reflected in Lawrence's persistent theme in his novels of the elegant, well-bred woman under the influence of a common, low-bred man. As a child, Lawrence dazzled his family with his ability to copy paintings of the masters, and lioness Lydia demanded that her intelligent, talented and fragile son escape the drudgery of a miner's life and seek higher education.
After graduating a two-year teacher's training course at University College at Nottingham, Lawrence accepted a teaching job in the London suburb of Croydon. Taking up writing at the age of 19, he had four poems published in "The English Review" in 1909, which launched his writing career. Ford Madox, editor of the "The English Review," mentored Lawrence as a budding writer and was influential in publishing his first novel "The White Peacock," three years later. The moderate success of the book was overshadowed by the death of his beloved mother the same year, plunging Lawrence into a depression which resulted in a near-fatal attack of pneumonia from which he never fully recovered.
In March 1912, with two more novels in progress, he accepted a luncheon invitation from Professor Weekly, his favorite teacher from Nottingham and met his aristocratic wife Frieda. According to legend, she had Lawrence in her bed within 20 minutes after meeting him. Two months later they eloped to Germany, marrying in 1914 when Frieda's divorce became final. When they returned to England at the outbreak of WW I, they were forbidden to travel outside of it, as Lawrence's outspoken opposition to the war and Frieda's German birth aroused the suspicion that they were spies. They left England in 1919, returning only for short visits thereafter.
The couple led a peripatetic life through France, Italy, Sri Lanka, Australia, California and Mexico, where Lawrence was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1925. Seeking a suitable climate for his increasingly poor health, they rented a home in Taos, New Mexico and finally to the French Riviera in 1927 where, after medical treatment, it was concurred that his condition was grave. Despite his illness, Lawrence wrote voraciously during these years, introducing Freudian theory into the modern novel and especially writing openly about sexual passion and its necessary and explicit incorporation into human expression. His theory of "blood consciousness" was a constant emphasis on humanity basing its decisions on instinct rather reason. When his best known work "Lady Chatterley's Lover" was published in 1928, it was banned in England and the U.S. for describing the sexual act in minute detail. Thirty two years later the United States Supreme Court overruled the censorship and it was published again that same year.
Lawrence's marriage to Frieda was just as disastrous as the marriage between his parents. With mother-son love serving as the lens through which Lawrence perceived artistic vision, Frieda took the brunt of his psychological maladjustment through verbal and often public physical abuse. She was forbidden by Lawrence to even mention the names of the three children she left behind in her marriage to Weekly. In later years he felt that women's sexuality sapped all his spiritual strength and envisioned an ideal sexuality as homosexual, which he did not himself practice.
Consumed by tuberculosis, he died in a sanitarium in Venice, Italy with Frieda at his side on 2 March 1930 at age 44. After his death Frieda wrote "In his heart of hearts, I think he always dreaded women, felt that they were in the end more powerful than men."