W. (Bob) Forster
A London bookseller and prodigious collector of Lawrence's works, Forster was born Vladimir Voronin in Moscow, August 1914. He came to London in 1921 where he was brought up by his maternal grandmother, Lily Forster, adopting her surname. He went to primary school in Essex and then on to Maldon Grammar School, leaving at age 14 to pursue a variety of occupations before joining his uncle's firm, Orion Booksellers, in 1942. In 1952, he began dealing in books from 83a Stamford Hill, London, specialising in bibliographical works.
Forster first became interested in Lawrence in the post-war period, after reading about the suppression of The White Peacock. His personal enthusiasm for Lawrence and his wide bibliographical knowledge and contacts enabled him to build up an impressive specialised stock of Lawrence materials, alongside his other more general holdings. His collecting was not restricted to the primary editions, but included criticism, pamphlets, journals, reviews, and ephemera. Following his death, the collection was sold at Bloomsbury Book Auctions in June 1998. In this wide dispersal of the Forster materials, The University of Nottingham was fortunate to acquire series of ephemera and extensive runs of periodical and pamphlet literature, rich sources for early appearances of Lawrence texts and reviews.
Bob Forster's association with The University of Nottingham went back many years. In 1960 he had been among those who lent material for the first major Lawrence exhibition held at the University. In more recent years he and his wife, Eileen, had visited the University on a number of occasions, particularly in connection with the activities of the D H Lawrence Research Centre and knew the Library's Lawrence Collections through their involvement in acquisitions. The University was very grateful to Mrs Eileen Forster for transferring to its care her late husband's extensive collection of newsprint cuttings concerning D H Lawrence. Ranging in date from the early 1960s to the 1990s, these record news coverage on Lawrence from all over the world. The collection (FoR) is now fully catalogued.
For interested bibliophiles, the University's D H Lawrence Collection contains a copy of the auction catalogue. Search UNLOC.
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