You had to go to Paris to buy it. Anthony Burgess tore it up and stuffed the pages in his socks to get it back through Heathrow. D H Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, published in 1928, was quickly banned in England and the USA for its “obscene” language of forbidden and therefore scandalous sexual love.
In this episode Helen is joined by Melbourne author and critic Mel Campbell to discuss Lawrence’s final novel, his story of Lady Chatterley’s erotic emancipation. Politically radical, a testament to Lawrence’s call for a return to the body and its premiere language of “the blood”, the novel forecasts the later 20th Century feminist movement of writing from the body. Helen and Mel look at the nature of Lawrence’s language of love and wild flowers, concluding that what may have been so politically dangerous is the “tenderness” (the novel’s original title) with which Lawrence depicts Connie’s reclamation of her body from the “word” she once was, her emergence from the punitive history of literary representations of women and their desire.