D.H. Lawrence Research Centre

Conserving Lawrence's Legacy

The literary works of D. H. Lawrence are widely understood to be of international significance. This project seeks to recognise their importance to the local community, and to celebrate the literary heritage that surrounds Lawrence's life and works.

The DHLRC’s research informs high-profile cultural activity in the region, engaging school children, community and special interest groups.

It also engages a broader public through national and international media activity, with insights into Lawrence’s life, works and legacy in order to encourage a deeper understanding and appreciation of Nottinghamshire’s rich cultural heritage.

Dr Andrew Harrison pictured next to copies of his new biography, The Life of D. H. Lawrence in Waterstones, York
Dr Andrew Harrison pictured next to copies of his biography, The Life of D. H. Lawrence, in Waterstones, York


This project has progressed in three key phases of research:

Phase 1 undertaken by John Worthen

John's groundbreaking biographical research focused on Lawrence's early life in Nottinghamshire. It provides the most detailed account to date of the physical contexts of the author’s family, while also re-evaluating the lasting impact of his upbringing on his writing.

Worthen emphasises Lawrence’s status as an outsider and English radical: Lawrence is shown to be a writer who travelled widely and wrote about different cultures, but whose imagination constantly returned to his Nottinghamshire roots in order to articulate a critique of English society and English attitudes.

Phase 2 undertaken by Sean Matthews

Sean's research centred on Lawrence’s legacy in British culture, concentrating specifically on the 1950s and 1960s.

Its key critical insights, articulated in an essay on the Chatterley Trial, concerned the important role played by Lawrence in debates around not only obscenity and literary value, but also class and education in this period.


Phase 3 undertaken by Andrew Harrison

Andrew has drawn on phases 1 and 2 of the research in the re-evaluation of Lawrence's life and legacy by contextualising earlier biographical approaches to Lawrence and offering a revisionary and comparative account of the importance of his regional links.

Andrew is also involved in publishing and describing newly-discovered letters and other writings of Lawrence. His research built towards the publication of The Life of D. H. Lawrence: A Critical Biography (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016)



A selection of publications for the Conserving Lawrence's Legacy project

  • John Worthen, D.H. Lawrence: The Life of an Outsider (London: Allen Lane, 2005), xxvi+518pp. ISBN 0713996137 (Hardback) 0141007311 (Paperback)
  • Sean Matthews, ‘The Trial of Lady Chatterley’s Lover: ‘The Most Thorough and Expensive Seminar on Lawrence’s Work Ever Given”’, in Howard J. Booth, ed., New D. H. Lawrence (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009), pp. 169-91. ISBN 9780719078361 (Hardback)
  • Andrew Harrison (curator), Public Exhibition: ‘The Many Lives of D.H. Lawrence: Memoir, Legacy and Biography Revealed in The University of Nottingham’s D.H. Lawrence Collections’, Weston Gallery, Lakeside Arts Centre, The University of Nottingham, 4 May-16 September 2012.
  • Andrew Harrison, ‘The Regional Modernism of D.H. Lawrence and James Joyce’, in Regional Modernisms, eds. Neal Alexander and James Moran (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013), pp. 44-64. ISBN 9780748669301 (Hardback)
  • Andrew Harrison, ‘‘Dear Mrs Murry’: A Little-Known Manuscript Letter from D.H. Lawrence to Katherine Mansfield’, Katherine Mansfield Studies, Vol. 3 (2011), pp. 112-117. DOI: 10.3366/kms.2011.0011
  • Andrew Harrison, The Life of D. H. Lawrence: A Critical Biography (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016)
  • Andrew Harrison, ed., D. H. Lawrence in Context (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018)

Public engagement

A selection of events and collaborations with and for the general public

  • The White Peacock Centenary Exhibition, D.H. Lawrence Heritage Centre, Eastwood (September 2011) (curatorial assistance provided by Andrew Harrison)
  • Controversy on Canvas Exhibition, D.H. Lawrence Heritage Centre, Eastwood (September 2012) (curatorial assistance provided by Andrew Harrison) 
  • Sons and Lovers Exhibition, D.H. Lawrence Heritage Centre, Eastwood (September 2013) (curatorial assistance provided by Andrew Harrison)
  • The Many Lives of D.H. Lawrence: Memoir, Legacy and Biography Revealed in The University of Nottingham’s D.H. Lawrence Collections’ (4 May-16 September 2012)
  • Andrew Harrison, 'D.H. Lawrence and Ernest Collings', D.H. Lawrence Birthday Lecture 2012, Eastwood Comprehensive School (11 September 2012) 
  • Neil Roberts, 'Sons and Lovers and Jessie Chambers: Art and Integrity', Sons and Lovers Centenary Public Lecture, University of Nottingham (29 May 2013)
  • D.H. Lawrence Festival (annual event in partnership with D.H. Lawrence Heritage)
  • Sons and Lovers drama workshops at Eastwood Comprehensive School
  • Involvement in the 2019 ‘Eastwood Comics’ project
  • Extensive media work, including appearances on the Culture Show, Flog It!, Great British Railway Journeys, Bargain Hunt, and on the Sky Arts documentary ‘D. H. Lawrence: Sex, Exile and Greatness’ (first aired March 2021).

Sons and Lovers drama workshops with Eastwood Comprehensive School


Open educational resources

The search for D. H. Lawrence

Writing the writer


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Dr Andrew Harrison

Centre for Regional Literature and Culture

Trent Building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 846 6456
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 5924