Correspondence and memoirs of Lawrence's contemporaries, and papers relating to the publication of his works, 1910-1988, within the D.H. Lawrence Collection

Scope and Content

Papers in this group refer in some cases to individuals who also feature in other parts of the full D.H. Lawrence Collection. There are, for instance, letters between Jessie Chambers and Helen Corke, 1910-1915, 1930-1933, containing many references to D.H. Lawrence. The correspondence from Jessie Chambers has been published in G.J. Zytaruk (ed.) 'The Collected Letters of Jessie Chambers', in 'The D.H. Lawrence Review', vol. 12, nos.1-2 (1979). Also from the early days come some relatively unfamiliar local names, such as Heather Tanner and Gwen Rutherford, 1986, students at University College, Nottingham in the 1930s and friends of Professor Ernest Weekley. Letters between Hubert Bancroft and J.K. Funnell, 1985-1986, relate primarily to Louie Burrows.

Correspondence of the New York bookseller Laurence Gomme includes letters to Lawrence himself, Dorothy Brett and Mabel Dodge Sterne Luhan, 1927-1928, concerning the possible distribution of Lady Chatterley's Lover in the United States. A lengthy series of letters between the literary agent Laurence Pollinger and Frieda Lawrence, 1950-1955, discusses decisions about the publication of Lawrence's works after his death. Some writers, such as Witter Bynner and Edward Garnett, are represented by single letters.

The personal recollections of D.H. Lawrence in the series range from such as those of A.E. Templeman, a contemporary of D.H. Lawrence at Beauvale Board School and E.J. Woodford, a fellow pupil at Nottingham High School, to an autograph manuscript by John Middleton Murry entitled 'The Man Who (Had) Died - The Story of D.H. Lawrence' (c.1930). A revised version of this manuscript was first published as 'Son of Woman - The Story of D.H. Lawrence' by Jonathan Cape in 1931. The manuscript is accompanied by a memorandum of agreement relating to its publication and newspaper reviews.

Amongst other items in this series are papers of A.J. Statham including exhibition catalogues and newscuttings. There are also numerous newspaper reviews mainly of books written about D.H. Lawrence.

Administrative / Biographical History

Letters between contemporaries of D.H. Lawrence and memoirs of him have been brought together to form this artificial series.

Lawrence's local Nottinghamshire links, through family, friends and education, have ensured that, from the first efforts to collect materials about the writer, the University has steadily acquired early personal accounts and research materials illustrating his life and career. The biographical accounts range from personal reminiscences to texts of published works. They are supplemented by correspondence between contemporaries, sometimes from the first decades after the death of Lawrence, when interest in him and in publication of his work was growing. The variety of material means that the papers are relevant both for biographical studies and literary criticism.

The original Lawrence Collection at Nottingham University, as defined in its first finding aids, did not include this particular sub-group, although some of the material in it had already been acquired and lay within other series. In 1993-94 a review of the entire Collection led to a restructuring of its different sub-groups, and the creation of the reference La Mc, bringing together the biographical resources and early contemporary accounts of Lawrence.

Complementary series of correspondence can be found in several other sub-groups of the Lawrence Collection, where the letters belonged to a distinct archival context; e.g. La R.


The items are arranged in groups according to correspondent or writer and chronologically within these groups.

Access Information

Accessible to all registered readers. Readers are, in some cases, expected to use surrogate copies.

Other Finding Aids

Copyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus:

Typescript Catalogue

At the National Register of Archives, London:

Typescript Catalogue

On the World Wide Web:

Catalogue available through the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue. This electronic catalogue supersedes, and is more detailed than the typescript catalogues, and users are advised to refer to the online catalogue in preference to the printed versions.

Custodial History

The items in this collection do not have a single provenance but have been acquired by the Department over the years through various donations and purchases. The material continues to expand as new items are received.