November 15, 2011, by Andrew Burden
Additions for the D H Lawrence Collection!
The latest addition to the Lawrence Collection online catalogue is a group of papers purchased earlier in the summer with the assistance of the V & A Museum Purchase Grant Fund. Lawrence’s autograph text of the short piece “Laura Philippine” has a special interest, as it survives with a series of letters that provide more information about the writer’s inspiration and the fate of this manuscript.
The text “Laura Philippine”, which is fictional in form, is in effect a character sketch of a young woman. It was originally published in T.P. and Cassell’s Weekly in July, 1928. Researchers have known that the piece was based on Mary Christine Hughes whom Lawrence met in 1926 in Italy with her mother, Mrs Christine Hughes of Santa Fe. It can now be consulted together with letters from Lawrence’s widow Frieda to Mrs Hughes and her daughter in the late 1930s and 1949. Frieda during that period sold the text to Mrs Hughes.
Although details about surviving Lawrence manuscripts are very fully recorded, the location of this original item was previously unknown. A typescript version of the text, which is held at the University of California, Berkeley, was used in the Cambridge University Press editions of Lawrence works (James T. Boulton, ed. Late Essays and Articles. CUP 2004.) This addition will enable scholars to understand more about the transmission of the text.
The V & A Museum Purchase Grant Fund has over the years generously supported the University in acquiring new items for the collections. The Lawrence Collection, which has been awarded Designation status by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, has particularly benefited. We were delighted that on this occasion we were able to show the acquisition to Janet Davies, Head of the V&A UK Section & Purchase Grant Fund, who was visiting us in Nottingham.