CONTROVERSIAL BIOGRAPHY OF D.H. LAWRENCE
(LAWRENCE, D.H.) MURRY, John Middleton. Son of Woman. London: Jonathan Cape, (1931). Octavo, original black cloth gilt, original dust jacket. $200.
First edition of this first salvo in the Murry-Carswell biographical controversy over Lawrence.
The difficulty of creating a reliable biography of Lawrence was exasperated by comprehensive disagreement among his contemporaries about what Lawrence was like as a person. “To a considerable extent, the version of Lawrence we possess today was created in the early 1930s by a significant succession of publications… Murry’s Son of Woman, which came out in April 1931, only thirteen months after Lawrence’s death, was a new kind of book: one which, although outwardly a critical book, was also an attempt at a kind of spiritual biography. It purported to explain what was fundamentally wrong with Lawrence the person, not just what was wrong with his books… In June 1932 Catherine Carswell published The Savage Pilgrimage, a refutation of Murry’s reminiscences of Lawrence, and the first attempt at a full-length biography drawing on material from outside the writer’s actually knowledge of her subject. Savage Pilgrimage, however, had to be withdrawn after threats of legal action from Murry, who objected to the way he himself was presented… It was clear that the books by Murry and Carswell were in their different ways attempts to re-possess Lawrence—attempts to be the book written by the one true friend who understood him where none of the other friends (or partners) did” (John Worthen). Roberts & Poplawski B30. Bookplate.
Book fine. Chipping to spine ends of original dust jacket, spine toned.