D.H. Lawrence: The Life of an Outsider

John Worthen, Author . Counterpoint $29.95 (518p) ISBN 978-1-58243-341-7

This new biography by respected Lawrence scholar Worthen (D.H. Lawrence: The Early Years 1885– 1912 ) considers the writer's life and career in the context of what Worthen convincingly shows to have been a lifelong, instinctive rebellion against his family, his culture, his country and the enigmas of his own body. In developing his thesis, Worthen provides perceptive links between the people in Lawrence's life and his fictional characters. A stylishly written, smoothly developed analysis of Lawrence's conflicted psyche illuminates his love-hate relationship with his mother, his early platonic and romantic attachments, his interaction with the writers, artists and thinkers of his generation, and his grand passion for Frieda von Richthofen Weekley, the sexually uninhibited German aristocrat who left her English husband and three children to join Lawrence in a tempestuous, sometimes unfaithful union. (Worthen has unearthed new material that contradicts Frieda's version of Lawrence's last days.) Their peripatetic, often penurious life together unreels with sustained suspense as Lawrence's quest for the most salubrious place to unleash his creative imagination and, after his tuberculosis was diagnosed, to preserve his health. Worthen empathetically explores Lawrence's charming but often exasperating persona, his commitment to investigating the body and its sexual needs, his courage in writing Lady Chatterley's Lover . Worthen's fidelity to detail never slows the momentum of the tragic arc of Lawrence's life and the importance of his literary legacy. 8 pages of b&w photos; maps. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 08/29/2005
Release date: 10/01/2005
Paperback - 978-0-312-08752-4
Paperback - 692 pages - 978-0-521-43772-1
Paperback - 136 pages - 978-0-340-51372-9
Hardcover - 196 pages - 978-0-312-03524-2
Paperback - 518 pages - 978-1-58243-355-4
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