December 13, 2011, by Fraser
13 December: Winter-Lull
Bay was the first private edition of DH Lawrence’s work to be produced during his lifetime and contains this powerful illustration by Anne Estelle Rice as an accompaniment to the poem ‘Winter-Lull.’
The collection was issued in a small print run of 200 copies and one of the vellum (mammal skin) copies is housed in the University’s Lazarus Collection which is comprised entirely of DH Lawrence items donated by bibliophile George Lazarus.
In order to get a sense of the poem, we asked Joshua Blake from the University’s Poetry Society to read it for us:
Dr Andrew Harrison is an English Literature lecturer at the University and our in-house expert when it comes to all things concerning DH Lawrence, as well as being Director of the DH Lawrence Research Centre in the School of English Studies. That’s why we asked him to give us the lowdown on the former student’s wintry poem and the accompanying illustration:
‘This striking print by the American artist Anne Estelle Rice is one of ten used to illustrate the nineteen poems collected in DH Lawrence’s Bay, a volume of war-themed poetry privately printed in an expensive limited edition by Cyril Beaumont in 1919. It illustrates the poem ‘Winter-Lull’ which describes how a pause in conflict draws the speaker and his fellow soldiers into a heightened awareness of the silent winter landscape.
Rice’s illustration, with the stylised forms of its broken trees and ruined church, attempts to capture this static moment of contemplation when the anxious activity of the men gives way to a collective sense of ‘awe’.
We might be reminded of the unofficial Christmas truces which were held along certain parts of the Western Front in December 1914 when opposing troops ceased conflict for a short interval to commemorate the festivities. These ‘lulls’ in the fighting were never officially sanctioned by either side but seem to have arisen out of a collective sense of occasion.
The Lazarus Collection – featuring this illustration – is at the heart of the University’s extensive DH Lawrence collections, whose exceptional range and depth was recognised in February 2008 in a Designation award from the Museums, Archives and Libraries Council. This acknowledged the national pre-eminence of the Lawrence Collection in Nottingham and the significance of his local links, which are reflected in the origin of many of the papers and celebrated in the records of his period as a student at Nottingham University College from 1906 to 1908.’
The DH Lawrence Research Centre in the School of English Studies collaborates with the curators in Manuscripts and Special Collections in organising exhibitions and conferences. A new exhibition entitled ‘The Many Lives of D. H. Lawrence: Memoir, Legacy and Biography Revealed in the University of Nottingham’s D. H. Lawrence Collections’ is due to open in the Weston Gallery at the DH Lawrence Pavilion, University Park, in May 2012. There is also a two-day conference on Lawrence scheduled for 5-6 July 2012.
All of the items featured in our e-Advent calendar are from the University’s historic library holdings, held in Manuscripts and Special Collections. For more information on the wide range of materials available, take a look at their website and blog or contact the curators on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out more about our Manuscripts development plans and how you can support us via the Impact Campaign website.