D. H. Lawrence: The Early Years 1885-1912: Volume 1: The Cambridge Biography of D. H. Lawrence

John Worthen, Author Cambridge University Press $96 (656p) ISBN 978-0-521-25419-9
David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930), with his fiery life and staggering literary output, continues a step ahead of his biographers. This hefty volume is first in a three-volume study, each by a different author--Mark Kinkead-Weekes and David Ellis will write the last two, slated to appear in 1992 and 1994, respectively. Here Worthen incorporates a mass of newly published Lawrenciana, chiefly letters, and thus, to a degree, renders all the existing biographies out of date. Worthen provides a wealth of information on Lawrence's family background, his coming-of-age in a Midlands mining community, tortuous early relations with women, first ventures into the working world and explosive burst of self-education. The book ends with his liberating elopement with Frieda Weekley and the publication of his autobiographical masterpiece, Sons and Lovers. Worthen ( D. H. Lawrence and the Idea of the Novel ) sets the record straight in a thousand little ways, and there emerges a complex genius, ruthless, sensitive and fully alive. Photos. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
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