Manuscripts and Special Collections

The Lawrence Circle

D.H. Lawrence had many friends and associates, acquired, and often discarded, throughout his extensive travels across the world. These contemporaries range from friends of his younger days in the Eastwood and Nottinghamshire area, through prominent figures in London, and worldwide, literary circles, members of the British aristocracy, artists and social revolutionaries, to farmers and locals of the various locations which Lawrence visited and inhabited.

The following list provides a quick reference guide to a selection of D.H. Lawrence's friends, family and associates. Many of the figures listed below are represented within the University of Nottingham's D.H. Lawrence collections in a variety of ways, for instance in copies of their own published works on Lawrence, by inscribed copies of Lawrence's works or through manuscript material, such as correspondence from or relating to D.H. Lawrence, biographical works, photographs and other items.

See information about the D.H. Lawrence printed and manuscript collections.

  • Richard Aldington (1892-1962) Imagist poet, novelist and biographer; assistant editor of the Egoist (1913); married the poet H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) in 1913, separated 1919, divorced 1938; had a longterm relationship with Dorothy 'Arabella' Yorke from 1917. Aldington first met Lawrence in 1914 and they became close friends; in 1950 Aldington published his Lawrence biography Portrait of a Genius, But ... .
  • Lady Cynthia Asquith (1887-1960), née Charteris. Daughter of Lord and Lady Elcho; married Herbert Asquith in 1910; autobiographical writer and member of Lawrence's London literary circle from 1913.
  • Anne Millicent Beveridge (1871-1955) Scottish painter; first met D.H. Lawrence in Sicily in 1921, painted his portrait the same year.
  • Dorothy Brett (1883-1977) Painter; daughter of Reginald Baliol Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher; trained at the Slade School of Art, London and was a friend of D.H. Lawrence, John Middleton Murry, Katherine Mansfield, Mark Gertler, Lady Ottoline Morrell and Virginia Woolf. Travelled with Lawrence to New Mexico in 1924 and lived there until her death; published her memoir of her relationship with Lawrence, Lawrence and Brett, in 1933.
  • Louisa ('Louie') Burrows (1888-1962) D.H. Lawrence's fiancée from December 1910 to February 1912; attended the Pupil-Teacher Centre, Ilkeston 1902-1906 and, with Lawrence, was a student on the Day Training Course at University College, Nottingham 1906-1908; awarded a first class Teacher's Certificate in 1908 and continued as a teacher until 1942; married Frederick Heath in 1941. D.H. Lawrence referred to Louie in his Preface to Collected Poems (1928) as the woman of 'Kisses on the Train' and 'Hands of the Betrothed'.
  • Harold ('Hal') Witter Bynner (1881-1968) American poet; lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was with Witter Bynner that the Lawrences spent their first night in New Mexico; they would also later travel with him to Mexico. Bynner published his recollections of Lawrence in Journey with Genius (1951).
  • Mary Cannan (1867-1950), née Ansell. Actress; married Sir James Barrie and, later, Gilbert Cannan in 1910. Mary Cannan first met Lawrence when they were neighbours near Chesham, Bucks. in 1914; their friendship was renewed in the early 1920s after the break-up of her marriage.
  • Catherine Carswell (1879-1946), née MacFarlane. Scottish writer; worked as a dramatic critic for the Glasgow Herald 1907-1911; married Herbert P.M. Jackson in 1903, the marriage was later annulled due to Jackson's insanity; married fellow journalist Donald Carswell in 1915. Carswell met D.H. Lawrence in 1914 and they remained friends until his death; Lawrence encouraged Carswell with her first novel Open the Door! (1920); she later produced biographies of Robert Burns, Boccaccio and a controversial biography of Lawrence, The Savage Pilgrimage (1932).
  • Jessie Chambers (1887-1944) Childhood friend of D.H. Lawrence; known also as 'Muriel'; the prototype for 'Miriam' in D.H. Lawrence's novel Sons and Lovers; pupil teacher and assistant mistress in a Nottingham School from 1910; married John R. Wood in 1915. An important figure in the early biography of D.H. Lawrence, Jessie Chambers was responsible for Lawrence's first significant publications after sending some of his manuscripts to Ford Madox Hueffer, editor of the English Reivew in 1908. She published her memoir of Lawrence, D.H. Lawrence: A Personal Record, under the pseudonym E.T., in 1915 and thereafter destroyed the manuscript of her unpublished fictionalised novel 'Eunice Temple', based on her relationship with D.H. Lawrence, together with the letters exchanged between them.
  • Lettice Ada Clarke (1887-1948), née Lawrence. D.H. Lawrence's youngest sister; known by her second name 'Ada'; attended the Pupil-Teacher Centre at Ilkeston, qualified as teacher and taught at Eastwood Elementary School until her marriage; married William Edwin Clarke in 1913; 2 sons, John Lawrence (1915-1942) and William Herbert (b 1923).
  • Helen Corke (1882-1978) First knew D.H. Lawrence whilst teaching in Croydon; teacher at Dering Place Mixed School, Croydon and introduced to Lawrence by her friend and mentor Agnes Mason. Helen Corke was taught the violin by Herbert Baldwin MacCartney, the 'Siegmund of The Trespasser, with whom she had a troubled relationship; her relationship with him was recalled in her 'Freshwater Diary' on which Lawrence based his novel, The Tresspaser (1912). Through Lawrence she formed a close relationship with Jessie Chambers and wrote several books about Lawrence including D.H. Lawrence's Princess, a memoir of Jessie Chambers.
  • Rolf Gardiner (1902-1971) Farmer, forester and pionéer of Land Service Camps for Youth in northern Europe after World War I. Graduated from Cambridge in 1924 and founded Springhead Estate in Dorset, 1927 to realise D.H. Lawrence's vision.
  • Enid Hilton (1896-1992), née Hopkin. Daughter of William and Sallie Hopkin; knew Lawrence as a child, and remained in contact after her marriage to Lawrence Hilton. Enid Hilton later emigrated to the United States where she undertook social work among the native American communities in Ukiah, California.
  • William Edward Hopkin (1862-1951) Prominent figure in Eastwood political and intellectual life; leading member of the Congregationalist Literary Society and active supporter of the Socialilst Democratic Federation; Urban District councillor for 45 years; J.P. and Aldermanic member of Nottinghamshire County Council. Married ardent feminist Sallie A. Potter (d 1923) with whom he had one daughter, Enid (b 1896); second marriage to Olive Lizzie Slack in 1925. D.H. Lawrence would pay many visits to Hopkin's 'open house' for meetings, debates and discussions and Hopkin was presented as Willie Houghton in Touch and Go (Daniel, 1920) and as Lewis Goddard in 'Mr Noon' (in A Modern Lover, Secker, 1934).
  • Emily Una King (1882-1962), née Lawrence. D.H. Lawrence's eldest sister; married Samuel Taylor King in 1904; 2 daughters, Margaret Emily (1909-2001), known as 'Peg', and Joan Frieda (b 1920). Emily was often referred to as 'Pamela' by D.H. Lawrence, a nickname taken from Samuel Richardson's Pamela (first published 1740).
  • S.S. ('Kot') Koteliansky (1880-1955) Born in the Ukraine, Samuel Solomonovich Koteliansky moved to England in 1911 and remained there for the rest of his life. He translated many Russian works and collaborated on these translations with various English authors, including D.H. Lawrence. His collection of letters from D.H. Lawrence, in the British Museum, numbers 346 and is the largest collection of Lawrence's letters to a single recipient to be preserved.
  • Frieda Lawrence (1879-1956), née von Richthofen. Emma Maria Frieda Johanna von Richthofen was born in Metz, Germany; married Ernest Weekley in 1899; bore 3 children, Charles Montague (1900-1982), Elsa (1902-1985) and Barbara (1904-1998); met D.H. Lawrence in 1912 to whom she was married in July 1914.
  • Mabel Dodge Sterne Luhan (1879-1962), née Ganson. Wealthy American patron of the arts; married Carl Evans in 1900, Edwin Dodge in 1903, Maurice Sterne in 1916 and Tony Luhan in 1923. D.H. Lawrence went to Taos, New Mexico on her suggestion; Mabel Luhan published her biography of Lawrence, Lorenzo in Taos, in 1932.
  • Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923), pseudonym of Kathleen Beauchamp. New Zealand writer; came to England in 1908; married George Bowden in 1909, divorced 1918; married John Middleton Murry in 1918; editor, with Murry, of Rhythm 1911-1912. Published short stories and is best know for her collection Bliss and other stories (1920).
  • John Middleton Murry (1889-1957) Journalist and critic; founded the modernist periodical Rhythm (1911-1913), The Blue Review, the Athenaeum (1919) and the Adelphi (1923). In 1912 he met Katherine Mansfield, they married in 1918; married Violet de Maistre in 1924, Elizabeth Cockbayne in 1932 and Mary Gamble in 1954. Murry first met D.H. Lawrence in 1914 and they formed formed a close and tempestuous alliance for a number of years. Published many critical and semi-mystical works, and published 2 posthumous works on D.H. Lawrence, Son of Woman (1931) and Reminiscences of D.H. Lawrence (1933).
  • Guiseppe ('Pino') Orioli (1884-1942) Italian antiquarian bookseller and publisher; published Lady Chatterley's Lover and arranged for the distribution of the novel. Orioli also published a number of other works by Lawrence.

A note about sources

In compiling the above guide, details have been taken from a variety of sources. Most notable amongst these are the 8 volumes of The Complete Letters of D.H. Lawrence (Cambridge University Press, 1979-2000).


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