Coal is etched deep in the history of Nottinghamshire, and it features often in the work of one of the county’s most famous sons – DH Lawrence.
Lawrence’s father worked as a coalminer at Brinsley Colliery, close to the family home in Eastwood. The author’s early work – including poems, short stories, plays, sketches, and his novel Sons and Lovers – documents in great detail his experience of growing up in a mining community and the influence of the carbon-based rock on daily life in it around the turn of the century.
My research focuses on his life and work. I have recently published The Life of DH Lawrence: A Critical Biography and edited a major new collection of essays on the author entitled DH Lawrence in Context. I have discovered new sources relating to his life, including previously unpublished letters and postcards, a new photograph of the author in New Mexico, and a previously unknown two-page manuscript by Lawrence acquired by a library in New Zealand.
I am delighted to be involved with the UNESCO City of Literature project Eastwood Comics
One of the most rewarding aspects of my work is the way I can use Lawrence’s life to promote a greater appreciation of the literary and mining heritage of Eastwood among school pupils, and encourage their own creativity, notably through drama and performance, and – more recently – through art and illustration.
I am delighted to be involved with the UNESCO City of Literature project Eastwood Comics, which involves Hall Park Academy pupils, students and professional graphic artists in designing booklets on topics relating to Lawrence as an outspoken and rebellious author.