The Letters of D. H. Lawrence (Magill's Literary Annual 1991-2005)
The 768 letters in this volume bring to 4,749 the total published in the new Cambridge University Press edition of D. H. Lawrence’s correspondence. When the seventh and final volume appears, more than 5,600 letters will be available, almost half of which were previously unpublished. Like its predecessors, volume 6 is handsomely produced and graced by such useful editorial aids as a detailed chronology, maps, period photographs, notes on obscure references and foreign phrases, an excellent introduction, and a carefully prepared index. Indispensable to scholars, this edition will only enhance Lawrence’s reputation as one of the premier letter writers in English literature.
A persistent theme in Lawrence’s life since about 1915, when he and his wife Frieda were subjected to rabid xenophobia and censorship during World War I in England, was his ceaseless search for a true home. Preceding volumes followed the Lawrences around the globe after their bitter severance from England in 1919, with significant stays in Sicily, Australia, Old and New Mexico, and various spots in Italy. A sort of recurrent rhythm was apparent in these earlier letters, beginning with Lawrence’s disappointment in and rejection of the familiar locale, his longing for a vitalist paradise in a place remote from the world’s urban centers, the initial impressions of the actual place upon arrival, inevitable disillusionment, an attempt to adjust to and accommodate the anomalous...
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The Letters of D. H. Lawrence (Magill's Literary Annual 1990)
Like the previous volumes of the Cambridge edition of D. H. Lawrence’s letters, volume 5 is distinguished by outstanding scholarship and bookmaking. Its 889 letters, written over a three-year period between March, 1924, and March, 1927, are attractively presented in full and accurate texts, clearly identified as to date and place of origin, recipient, and the present source or location of the text used. Footnotes concisely explain the identities of the correspondents, translate foreign phrases, and identify unfamiliar references. Equally helpful are the letters to Lawrence, a selection of which appears in the footnotes in order to provide a context for Lawrence’s often heated utterances. Additionally the editors offer a detailed chronology, two maps, a general introduction, and twenty-four black-and-white photographs of persons involved in this correspondence, as well as an excellent index. This volume brings the total of letters published in this edition to 3,980, or almost three-fourths of the more than 5,600 that will be available when all seven volumes have appeared. Without doubt this represents a significant advance over the two previous, incomplete editions of letters published in 1932 (edited by Aldous Huxley) and 1962 (edited by Harry T. Moore). As a result, Lawrence’s reputation as a correspondent par excellence is certain to be reinforced.
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The Letters of D. H. Lawrence (Magill's Literary Annual 1991-2005)
With the publication of this seventh volume, 5,534 pieces of correspondence have appeared in the monumental Cambridge edition of D. H. Lawrence’s letters. (An eighth volume containing addenda, corrections, and a comprehensive index has been announced.) Written between 1901 and 1930, certain of the letters have long been highlighted in accounts of Lawrence’s life and thought. Earlier general editions of the correspondence appeared in 1932 and 1962, but together they contained only about one-fourth of the extant letters, and many of these in incomplete or inaccurate texts sometimes erroneously dated. In the 1970’s appeared three separate volumes of Lawrence’s correspondence with key individuals such as his principal British publisher, Martin Secker, his American publisher during the 1920’s, Thomas Seltzer, and his longtime friend S.S. Koteliansky, altogether adding another eight hundred letters to the published epistolary canon. Still, nearly half of Lawrence’s letters had not been published until the Cambridge edition, which began to appear in 1979. Considered as a set, the edition represents a remarkable scholarly achievement. Each volume is graced by a highly informative introduction setting forth the biographical context of the letters therein; a detailed chronology of key dates; maps of the places around the globe to which Lawrence’s restless peregrinations took him; period photographs and sketches of important correspondents; headnotes providing the...
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The Letters of D. H. Lawrence (Magill's Literary Annual 1980)
One may wonder if yet another edition of Lawrence letters is necessary, for his letters have been with us almost as long as his works. The funeral meats were barely cold when Aldous Huxley brought out the first edition (The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, 1932). Thirty years later, his biographer, Harry T. Moore, published the two volume Collected Letters of D. H. Lawrence. Given the limitations of these earlier editions, the answer is yes, we sorely need a complete, unexpurgated edition. Huxley, in one volume, selected only tidbits and then left out all the interesting names to protect against libel. Moore, working under limitations, again selected and severely edited the letters, not always telling us when he was editing. Neither man took the time and care to annotate his edition; readers were left with dangling questions. None of us suspected the enormous bulk of the complete collection—over 5,500 letters.
Under the general editorship of James T. Boulton, Cambridge University Press is now bringing out the complete letters in seven volumes as a companion set to their complete edition of Lawrence’s works. The press could not have chosen a more qualified editor than Boulton, who has labored long and lovingly in the Lawrence arbor. Here in the first volume he has set an impeccable standard for his colleagues in the task. From twenty-six...
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The Letters of D. H. Lawrence (Magill's Literary Annual 1986)
When complete, the Cambridge edition of D. H. Lawrence’s letters will run to seven volumes (with an eighth volume devoted to addenda, corrections, and a comprehensive index), containing some 5,600 pieces of correspondence written between 1901 and 1930. Considering the relatively short span of Lawrence’s career—he died of tuberculosis in his forty-fifth year—as well as his chronically poor health and his frequent travels to far-flung spots around the globe, this is an astonishing amount of correspondence. Although the Cambridge edition includes every available scrap, from postcards and telegrams to the most ephemeral of notes, the overall quality of the correspondence is such that Lawrence’s reputation as one of the greatest English letter writers will be even more secure than previously.
The fact that so many of Lawrence’s correspondents held on to his letters, even when he was persona non grata in literary circles, testifies in itself to the remarkable impact of his letters. His reputation as a formidable correspondent became more widespread, however, with the publication of a large volume of letters edited by his friend Aldous Huxley in 1932, only two years after Lawrence’s death. Huxley’s edition, which contained 790 letters, eventually played an important role in the rescuing of Lawrence’s reputation as a major writer, after a...
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The Letters of D. H. Lawrence (Magill's Literary Annual 1988)
With the publication of the fourth volume of a projected seven, more than half of the known 5,600 pieces of D. H. Lawrence’s correspondence have appeared in the new Cambridge edition. The quality of the scholarship and bookmaking here matches the high standards established in the previous three volumes. Volume IV’s 848 letters, written between June of 1921 and March of 1924, are presented in an attractive format, with full and accurate texts (many having previously appeared in incomplete or inaccurate versions). They are assiduously annotated as to date of composition, identity of correspondent, unfamiliar allusions, translations of foreign phrases, and source of text—information of interest primarily to the specialist scholar. Helpful to the general reader are the detailed chronology of Lawrence’s life and writings during this period, maps of the regions of the world to which he traveled, sixteen black-and-white photographs of several of the most important correspondents, a very ample index, and a general introduction calling attention to the principal themes, places, and personages appearing in the letters.
The nearly three-year period of Lawrence’s life covered in the fourth volume of letters was marked by virtually continual movement. Lawrence and his wife Frieda, having bitterly departed from England after the conclusion of World War I,...
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1990)
The Christian Science Monitor. October 14, 1987, p. 20.
The Economist. CCXCIV, January 5, 1985, p. 71.
The Guardian. August 29, 1991, p. 21.
Guardian Weekly. CXLV, September 15, 1991, p. 28.
Library Journal. CXVIII, September 15, 1993, p.74.
Listener. CXIII, January 31, 1985, p. 22.
London Review of Books. VII, February 7, 1985, p. 6.
London Review of Books. XIII, December 5, 1991, p. 14.
Los Angeles Times Book Review. May 12, 1985, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times Book Review. December 27, 1987, p. 2.
Modern Fiction Studies. XXXI, Summer, 1985, p. 357.
New Statesman. CIX, January 4, 1985, p. 22.
The New York Review of Books. XXXII, January 16, 1986, p. 33.
The New York Review of Books. February 13, 1992, p. 27.
The Observer. December 2, 1984, p. 24.
The Observer. June 21, 1987, p. 24.
The Spectator. CCLVIII, May 23, 1987, p. 51.
The Spectator. CCLXXI, July 3, 1993, p.27.
Times Literary Supplement. February 1, 1985, p. 108.
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