Manuscripts and Special Collections

Telling his Story

An extraordinarily rich biographical tradition greets any newcomer to Lawrence. This began immediately after his premature death in 1930, at the age of 44. Friends who had known and admired him provided their views of his complex and forceful character.

The Nottingham Collections provide excellent original sources on Lawrence's life, particularly for the early Nottingham years. The inclusion of research papers of early biographers, such as Emile Delavenay, add another type of raw material for the next generation of students.

The writers Catherine Carswell (1879-1946) and John Middleton Murry (1889-1957) illustrate how the friends of Lawrence often disagreed in their memories of him.

In 1930-1931 Murry contributed his reminiscences to the Adelphi magazine and his 'Son of Woman' was published in 1931. Carswell responded in the same journal. It was however her biography 'The Savage Pilgrimage' (1932) which most incensed Murry.  Viewing her portrayal of his relationship with the Lawrences as libellous, he took legal action. The book was withdrawn for revision.

The papers of Catherine Carswell have recently come to Nottingham by bequest of her son. They can now be studied alongside the manuscript text of Murry's biography.

More: Developing the Collections

DH Lawrence at Nottingham home

Page from 'The Savage Pilgrim' with crossings out and comments written by Murry

Murry glossed the margins of Carswell's book with his comments



Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4565
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 8651