The George Lazarus Collection of D.H. Lawrence literary manuscripts contains a rich and diverse core of autograph manuscripts and original letters, enhanced by a comprehensive range of related material, including photographs, ephemera and biographical papers. It is complemented by the George Lazarus library of published works in the Department's Special Collections, including first editions of the majority of Lawrence's works, together with periodical literature, foreign translations, works of literary criticism and biography.
Literary manuscripts comprise around fifty works of fiction and non-fiction. Pre-eminent is the holograph text of 'The White Peacock'. Manuscript, typescript and proof versions of various short stories and poems are also present, many demonstrating substantial variation from the published texts. Non-fiction and translations include the manuscript of the first eight and a half chapters of 'Movements in European History', bearing the title 'Landmarks in European History'. Also present is Frieda Lawrence's autograph transcript of the essay 'The Nightingale', and the manuscript of S.S. Koteliansky's translation of Leo Shestov's 'All Things Are Possible', which is entirely in the hand of Lawrence. The latest Lawrence item is a set of 155 proof sheets of 'Apocalypse', written shortly before Lawrence's death in 1930.
Original correspondence is a strength within the collection, which includes almost 160 autograph letters and cards to 27 correspondents, including Mary Cannan, wife of the writer Gilbert Cannon; Esmé Percy, who directed a production of 'The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd' in 1926; the bookseller and publisher Charles Lahr; Rolf Gardiner; Martin Secker and Richard Aldington. The largest group of letters was written to Emily King, D.H. Lawrence's sister, between 1924 and 1930.
In addition to letters from D.H. Lawrence, there are a number of letters concerning him between correspondents, such as Katherine Mansfield to Lady Glenavy, Violet Meynall to Martin Secker, Frieda Lawrence to Eric Gill and J. Middleton Murry to Gordon and Beatrice Campbell (Lord and Lady Glenavy).
Associated material was also collected by George Lazarus, and is richly varied, ranging from scripts and publicity material for television, radio and motion picture adaptations of Lawrence's works to a transcript of the 1960 prosecution of Penguin Books over the publication of 'Lady Chatterley's Lover'. The visitor's book from an exhibition of paintings in Vence, 1931-32 and a catalogue from the Warren Gallery exhibition, famously raided by the police in 1929, give some reference to Lawrence as a painter whilst his student days are marked by a minute book from 'The Society for the Study of Social Reform, University College, Nottingham'. Newspaper cuttings, catalogues, theatre programmes, maps, drawings and photographs all provide additional illustration of Lawrence's life and work.