|A painting by D. H. Lawrence|
David Herbert Lawrence was born at Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, on 11th September 1885, fourth of the five children of a miner (minatore) and of his educated middle-class wife. After attending college , he became a teacher in London (1908) and, helped by his literary friend Ford Madox Ford, published his first novel, The White Peacock (1911) – a study of the conflict between the sexes – and several poems. In the same year he started suffering from tuberculosis, a illness which did not prevent him from (non gli impedì di) eloping (scappare) to Germany with Frieda Weekley, the aristocratic German wife of his modern languages teacher, mother of three children and six years older than Lawrence. In 1913 Sons and Lovers was published : it is a novel which reflects much of the author’s life at home and his inability to establish a lasting (duratura) relationship with women. Lawrence and Frieda married on their return to England in 1914 and their life together was passionate and stormy (tempestosa). They settled (si stabilirono) in Cornwall where Lawrence continued to write novels, short stories and poetry, but had many problems to find publishers. Among his best known works are The Rainbow (1915), the story of three generations of a Midland family, focusing in particular on the emotional career of Ursula, a young girl who longs (desidera) for independence and Women in Love (1920) which still follows Ursula’s life: now she is a class-teacher at Willey Green Grammar School, together with her younger sister Gudrum, an art-mistress. Lawrence was a pacifist and did not enroll (arruolato) for medical reasons. After the war Lawrence grew dissatisfied (era sempre più insoddisfatto) with industrial Western civilization and began travelling restlessly (senza sosta) in Europe, America and Australia. In Mexico he wrote The Plumed Serpent (1926) about the values of primitive life. The Lawrences then settled (si stabilì) at Scandicci, near Florence, where Herbert also began painting canvases (tele) that were exhibited (messe in mostra) in London in 1929. However these last years were full of adversities: Lawrence’s last novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, the story of the passionate love between Sir Clifford Chatterley’s wife, and her husband’s gamekeeper (guardiacaccia), a man of working class origin, was banned (censurata) in 1928, and his paintings confiscated in 1929. He had no time to enjoy (godere) his hard conquered wealth (benessere economico duramente acquisito) because his health (salute) suddenly deteriorated and he died in Venice in 1930 at the age of 44. His life and his books inspired many cinema adaptations; among the best known: Sons and Lovers (1960) directed by Jack Cardiff ; Women in Love (1969) directed by Ken Russell; Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1981) directed by Just Jaeckin; Priest of Love (1981) about Frieda and Lawrence in Mexico, directed by Christopher Miles and based on Harry T. Moore’s book; Sons & Lovers (2003) directed by Stephen Whittaker; Lady Chatterley (2006) directed Pascale Ferran; Inside the Mind of Mr D.H.Lawrence (2013) directed by Armand Attard about the story of the author’s life: his first loves and his beginnings as a writer.