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SOME WOMEN and LAWRENCE

Virginia Hyde, Washington State University, 2002
        (linked also to the University of Nottingham Lawrence site)

Students often ask how women view D. H. Lawrence, so I have collected over 100 names of women writers/scholars who have responded to his work.

Among creative writers who were influenced by Lawrence were H. D. (Hilda Doolittle), Doris Lessing, Anais Nin, Joyce Carol Oates, Sylvia Plath, Eudora Welty, Elizabeth Bishop, Denise Levertov (with the other Black Mountain poets), Adrienne Rich, Kay Boyle, Carson McCullers, Meridel LeSeuer, Margaret Laurence, Dorothy Livesay, Margaret Drabble, Mollie Skinner, Katherine Susannah Pritchard, Barbara Hanrahan, Margaret Barbalet, Helen Dunmore, and A. S. Byatt. A number of these have written about Lawrence. Editors/poets who aided Lawrence and accepted his work for publication in his lifetime included well-known women--Amy Lowell, Harriet Monroe, and Marianne Moore. Rebecca West wrote a memorable obituary essay on him, and H. D.'s "The Poet" is thought to refer to him. (See also Leo Hamalian's D. H. Lawrence and Nine Women Writers [1996].)

Women who knew Lawrence in person and wrote book-length memoirs about him included Ada Lawrence, Jessie Chambers (E. T.), Helen Corke, Frieda Lawrence, Dorothy Brett, Catherine Carswell, Mabel Dodge Luhan, Achsah Brewster (co-author along with Earl Brewster), and Enid Hopkin Hilton. Several of the books below help "place" these memoirists in his life (Hahn, Feinstein, Maddox, and Talbot/Squires).

Following are some of the book-length studies that women have written about Lawrence; most are from university presses and most belong to the period after 1970. Only a very small handful may be uncritically celebrational (Nin's has been described this way but no doubt she has "poetic" license) and a very small handful harsher than others (notably Millett's Sexual Politics, from an earlier wave of feminism than today's rich variety of [plural] feminisms). More recent feminist scholars are prominent in Lawrence criticism and in criticism more generally--for example, the well-known editors Sandra Gilbert (co-editor of The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women and co-author of leading volumes on women's literary history like The Mad Woman in the Attic and No Man's Land); Carol Siegel (co-editor of the periodicals Genders and Rhizomes as well as author of books of literary and cultural studies); Holly Laird (editor of the periodical Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature); and the late Evelyn Hinz (20-year editor of the interdisciplinary Mosaic and leading authority on Nin). Nearly all of the writers (if not all) count themselves feminists, whether studying primarily gender and family relations (as in Lewiecki-Wilson and Sklenicka) or other aspects of Lawrence's work.

All but four or five of the books were originally written in English although I include a dozen from countries where English is a foreign language; these should suggest the wider Lawrence studies throughout the world (with official societies in England, North America, Japan, Korea, China, Australia, and Italy and Lawrence scholarship in a dozen more countries).

See also the paragraphs that follow the list, naming still more women Lawrence scholars so that, in all, this list gives 66 book authors (73 books), nine memoirists (above), 24 creative writers (above), and more than 20 more women VIPS who study Lawrence and take a lead in professional activities, organizations, and/or publications regarding him and his circle.

Chiseki Asahi, D. H. Lawrence and Australia (1993)--In Japanese.

Asahi (as above), Reading Feminism in D. H. Lawrence's Works (2000)--In Japanese.

Asahi (as above), A Study of D. H. Lawrence and Nature (1989)--In Japanese.

Fiona Becket, D. H. Lawrence: The Thinker as Poet (1997)--About the early fiction and non-fiction, not poetry.

Diane S. Bonds, Language and the Self in D. H. Lawrence (1987)

Mitzi M. Brunsdale, The German Effect on D. H. Lawrence and His Works (1978)

Margaret Buckley and Brian Buckley, Challenge and Renewal: Lawrence and the Thematic Novel (1993)

Buckley and Buckley (as above), The Novels of D. H. Lawrence and His Predecessors (2002)

Aidan Burns, Nature and Culture in D. H. Lawrence (1980)

Rose Marie Burwell, A Catalogue of D. H. Lawrence's Reading, Special Issue of D. H. Lawrence Review (1970), reprinted in A D. H. Lawrence Handbook, ed. Keith Sagar (1980)

Carla Comellini, D. H. Lawrence: A Study in Mutual and Cross References and Interferences (1995)--In English from Italy.

Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex (1953)--mentions Lawrence (a source for Millett)

Simonetta de Filippis and Nick Ceramella, eds., D. H. Lawrence and Literary Genres (2004)

Jillian de Vries-Mason, Perception in the Poetry of D. H. Lawrence (1982)

Ornella de Zordo and David Ellis, eds., D. H. Lawrence: Critical Assessments, 4 vols. (1992)

Carol Dix, D. H. Lawrence and Women (1980)

Elaine Feinstein, Lawrence and the Women: The Intimate Life of D. H. Lawrence (1993)

Feinstein (as above), Lady Chatterley's Confession (1995)--Not a critical work but a novel that "continues" Lady Chatterley's Lover.

Anne Fernihough, D. H. Lawrence: Aesthetics and Ideology (1992)

Carole Ferrier and Christopher Pollnitz, eds., D. H. Lawrence (1999)

Jill Franks, Revisionist Resurrection Mythologies: A Study of D. H. Lawrence's Italian Works (1994)

Mary Freeman, D. H. Lawrence: A Basic Study of His Ideas (1955)

Sandra Gilbert, Acts of Attention (2nd ed., 1990)--Be sure to get this SECOND edition of her book on Lawrence, which includes a Preface specifically about Lawrence and women. See also her Introduction to Cixous and Clement, below.*

Patricia Hagen, Metaphor's Way of Knowing: The Poetry of D. H. Lawrence and the Church of Mechanism (1993)

Emily Hahn, Lorenzo: D. H. Lawrence and the Women Who Loved Him (1975)

Janice Hubbard Harris, The Short Fiction of D. H. Lawrence (1984)

Masako Hirai, Sisters in Literature: Female Sexuality in 'Antigone,' 'Middlemarch,' 'Howards End,' and 'Women in Love' (1998)

Maya Hostettler, D. H. Lawrence: Travel Books and Fiction (1985)

Marguerite Beede Howe, The Art of the Self in D. H. Lawrence (1977)

Virginia Hyde, The Risen Adam: D. H. Lawrence's Revisionist Typology (1992)--Comprehensive look at DHL's Biblical typology and related mythology.

Dennis Jackson and Fleda Brown Jackson, eds., Critical Essays on D. H. Lawrence (1988)

Christa Jansohn, The Use of Quotation and Allusion in the Early Works of D. H. Lawrence (1990)--From Germany.

Mara Kalnins, ed., D. H. Lawrence: Centenary Essays (1986)

Kalnins (as above) and George Donaldson, eds., D. H. Lawrence in Italy and England (1999)

Ginette Katz-Roy and Myriam Librach, eds., D. H. Lawrence (1988)--In French.

Jungmai Kim, Themes and Techniques in the Novellas of D. H. Lawrence (1986)--In English from Korea.

Kim (as above), The Flame of Darkness: A Study of D. H. Lawrence

Kim (as above), A Feminist Reading of Fiction (2004)--Includes essays on Lawrence.

Kay Kondo (Kyoko Kondou), The Development of Form in D. H. Lawrence's Novelistic Art (1992)--In English from Japan.

Nancy Kushigian, Pictures and Fictions: Visual Modernism and the Pre-War Novels of D. H. Lawrence (1990)

Dolores LaChapelle, D. H. Lawrence: Future Primitive (1996)

Holly Laird, Self and Sequence: The Poetry of D. H. Lawrence (1988)

Cynthia Lewiecki-Wilson, Writing Against the Family: Gender in Lawrence and Joyce (1994)

Brenda Maddox, The Married Man [also called The Story of a Marriage] (1994)

Gail Porter Mandell, The Phoenix Paradox: A Study of Renewal Through Change in the 'Collected Poems' and 'Last Poems' of D. H. Lawrence (1984)

Sheila MacLeod, Men and Women in D. H. Lawrence (1985)

Patricia Merivale, Pan the Goat-God: His Myth in Modern Times (1969)--With multiple chapters on Lawrence.

Barbara Mensch, D. H. Lawrence and the Authoritarian Personality (1991)

Jennifer Michaels-Tonks, D. H. Lawrence: The Polarity of North and South: Germany and Italy in His Prose Works (1976)

Stefania Michelucci, Mobile Horizons: Space and Place in the Works of D. H. Lawrence (1998)--In Italian and in English, trans. Jill Franks (2002)

Barbara Miliaras, Pillar of Flame: The Mythological Foundations of D. H. Lawrence's Sexual Philosophy (1987)

Kate Millett, Sexual Politics (1969)--Includes Lawrence among others. [From an overall evaluation of Lawrence scholarship in America: "Over the years critics have pointed out how the shrill, extremely polemical Sexual Politics significantly distorts Lawrence's writings."--Keith Cushman, in D. H. Lawrence Around the World, ed. Takeo Iida (1999), p. 152.]

Sachiko Nakamura, Women Who Loved Lawrence (1983)--In Japanese.

Cornelia Nixon, D. H. Lawrence's Leadership Politics and the Turn Against Women (1986)

Joyce Carol Oates, The Hostile Sun: The Poetry of D. H. Lawrence (1973)--Appreciative, not "hostile."

Anais Nin, D. H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study (1932, 1964, 1994)--Newly significant in studies of Lawrence and l'écriture féminine.

Judith Ruderman, D. H. Lawrence and the Devouring Mother: The Search for a Patriarchal Ideal of Leadership (1984)

Elizabeth Sargent and Garry Watson, eds., Approaches to Teaching the Works of D. H. Lawrence (2001)--An MLA book to watch for.

Barbara Schapiro, D. H. Lawrence and the Paradoxes of Psychic Life (1999)

Carol Siegel, Lawrence Among the Women: Wavering Boundaries in Women's Literary Traditions (1991)

Hilary Simpson, D. H. Lawrence and Feminism (1982)

Aruna Sitesh, D. H. Lawrence: The Crusader as Critic (1975)--In English from India.

Sylvia Sklar, The Plays of D. H. Lawrence: A Biographical and Critical Study (1975)

Carol Sklenicka, D. H. Lawrence and the Child (1991)

Anne Smith, ed., D. H. Lawrence and Women (1978)

Margaret Storch, Sons and Adversaries: Women in William Blake and D. H. Lawrence (1990)

Lynn Talbot and Michael Squires, Living at the Edge (2002)--New perspective on Lawrence's and Frieda's life together.

Marianna Torgovnick, Gone Primitive: Savage Intellects, Modern Lives (1990)--Lawrence among others.

Torgovnick (as above), The Visual Arts, Pictorialism, and the Novel: James, Lawrence, and Woolf (1985)

Diana Trilling, Introduction to The Portable D. H. Lawrence (1947, 1977)--Handy through decades.

Sarah Urang, Kindled in the Flame: The Apocalyptic Scene in D. H. Lawrence (1984)

Anja Viinikka, From Persephone to Pan: D. H. Lawrence's Mythopoeic Vision of the Integrated Personality (1988)--In English from Finland.

Kathryn A. Walterscheid, The Resurrection of the Body: Touch in D.H. Lawrence (1993)

Rebecca West, D. H. Lawrence (1930, 1969)

Joyce Wexler, Who Paid for Postmodernism? Art, Money, and the Fiction of Conrad, Joyce, and Lawrence (1997)

Linda Ruth Williams, D. H. Lawrence (1997)--More comprehensive than her earlier book (below) and in handy paperback (published in connection with the British Trust).

Williams (as above), Sex in the Head: Visions of Femininity and Film in D. H. Lawrence (1993)

Helen Wussow, The Nightmare of History: The Fictions of Virginia Woolf and D. H. Lawrence (1998)

There are notable shorter studies on Lawrence and l'écriture féminine (see Diane Richard-Allerdyce in the D. H. Lawrence Review 26.1-3 [1995-6]); Lawrence and postmodernism (see Joyce Wexler in the DHLR 27.1 [1997-8]); and Lawrence and Cixous (see Sandra Gilbert's* Introduction to The Newly Born Woman by Helene Cixous and Catherine Clement [1986], xvii, on Lawrence's anticipation of something like joissance, "the fusion of the erotic, the mystical, and the political that sometimes seems to characterize Cixous's thought on this subject. . . . [To DHL, coming to sexuality] is also a coming to selfhood and coming away from the historically hegemonic Western 'nerve-brain' consciousness").

SOME MORE WOMEN

Women editing for the Cambridge Lawrence Edition have included Helen Baron, Mara Kalnins, Lindeth Vasey, Bethan Jones, Elizabeth Mansfield, Margaret H. Boulton (all of Great Britain), Christa Jansohn (Germany), Simonetta de Filippis (Italy); and Virginia Hyde (US).

A number of other women have written introductions to individual Lawrence works (perhaps most notably in the Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics Series of the 1990s), using the previously-established CUP texts. These Penguin writers include Helen Baron, Mara Kalnins, Simonetta de Filippis, Anne Fernihough, Stefania Michelucci, Jill Franks, Carol Siegel, and Virginia Hyde.

Jennifer Wicke is author of the commentary on Lawrence in 2002's Longman Anthology of British Literature (vol. 2C).  She is co-editor (with Kevin Detmar) for the twentieth century.

For years Diana Trilling's Selected Letters of D. H. Lawrence (1958) was popular and readily available, along with her Portable D. H. Lawrence (as above).

The editor (Eleanor Green) and seven current members of the D. H. Lawrence Review's Editorial Board are women, as are eight of the 12 officers/Executive Committee members of the D. H. Lawrence Society of North America.  DHLSNA Presidents have included Judith Ruderman, Lydia Blanchard, Virginia Hyde, Eleanor Green, Betsy Fox, Jill Franks, and Elizabeth (Betsy) Sargent (current).  Holly Laird is President-Elect.

 

MORE VIP WOMEN

Sharon Oard Warner of the University of New Mexico founded and conducts an annual Taos Summer Writers' Conference for creative writers that awards a D. H. Lawrence Fellowship. 

Tina Ferris, a California poet and independent scholar, is the author (with Virginia Hyde) of the nomination to place the Lawrences' Kiowa Ranch on the National Register of Historic Places--a five-year task that succeeded in 2004.  She has published Lawrence-related poetry in the D.H. Lawrence Review and an essay titled "'White Wonderful Demons':  Lawrence and the Heroic Age of Polar Exploration" in the collection, "Terra Incognita":  D.H. Lawrence at the Frontiers (2010), edited by Virginia Hyde and Earl Ingersoll, as well as a condensed version of the essay in the James Caird Society Journal (No. 3) related to Polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.  She is also web-master for the D.H. Lawrence Review and the DHLSNA and moderates the Yahoogroups based Lawrence listserve "Rananim."  (Helen Croom is the owner and founder of the Rananim Society.)  Tina was honored at MLA (San Diego, 2003), at the national DHLSNA dinner, with an award for outstanding service to the society for first envisioning the ranch nomination and then contributing her talents for years to bring it to fruition.

I also want to mention Ginette Katz-Roy (as above), editor of Etudes lawrenciennes (Paris), host of international DHL conferences, and recipient of the Harry T. Moore Award for Lawrence studies; the late Evelyn Hinz, Canada, past chair (as editior of Mosaic) of the American Council of Learned Journals, recipient of an MLA best-article award, and member of the MLA Executive Council (and author of a number of excellent myth studies on Lawrence); Simonetta de Filippis (as above), chair of the Department of Anglistics at the Instituto Universitario Orientale, Naples, who organized and hosted the Eighth International DHL Conference (2001); Rosemary Howard, longtime editor of the Newsletter of the D. H. Lawrence Society of England; Masako Hirai (as above), who edited a special book of haiku (translated by English students of her Kobe College, Japan) and presented copies to visitors at the Ninth International DHL Conference (2003); Jungmai Kim (as above), past president of the DHLS of Korea, editor of Feminist Studies in English Literature (Korea) and past president of both the Society of Feminist Studies and the American Studies Association of Korea; Sandra Darroch, officer of the Friends of Wyewurk (Lawrence home in Australia); Jacqueline Gouirand-Rousselon, France; Sheila Lahiri Choudhury, India; Simonetta di Fillipis (as above), Italy; Marija Knezevic, Montenegro; and Maria Aline Ferreira, Portugal. And let us not forget Mieko Kawasaki, Japan, author/illustrator of a comics version of Lady Chatterley's Lover that contains themes of tenderness and negotiation!

 (Virginia Hyde, Washington State University--updated 2010)