July 11, 2012, by Linda Shaw

New Discoveries in the D H Lawrence Family Papers

A fascinating collection of papers which has recently been acquired by Manuscripts and Special Collections provides researchers with new insights into D H Lawrence as a family man. 

Much has been written about Lawrence’s close relationship with his mother and his complex relationships with women, but this accrual to our Lawrence holdings demonstrates his strong affection for his younger sister Ada, her husband Eddie Clarke, and his particularly close bond with their eldest son Jack.  In his letters, Lawrence frequently expresses concern for the health of family members and displays a genuine interest in their affairs, despite living a considerable distance from their family home in the midlands.  There are many references in the correspondence to small gifts that Lawrence sent to Jack including a ‘carro’ [cart] and an hourglass, and in remembering to send him money at birthdays and at Christmas, Lawrence very much emerges as a considerate and affectionate uncle.

This exciting new collection also includes literary manuscripts, first editions of Lawrence’s works, many of which are inscribed to Ada, and papers relating to Ada’s biography of Lawrence ‘Young Lorenzo: early life of D.H. Lawrence’, written with G Stuart Gelder and published in 1931.  There are also a number of interesting personal and family papers such as copy certificates of Lawrence’s baptism and of his parents’ marriage.

Over 700 catalogue descriptions of the Clarke papers are now available on our online catalogue and surrogate copies of the manuscripts are available for viewing in the Manuscripts and Special Collections Reading Room at the King’s Meadow Campus.  Several items are also available to view in The Many Lives of D H Lawrence  exhibition at  the Weston Gallery, Lakeside Arts Centre, University Park from Friday 4 May until Sunday 16 September 2012.

Posted in Acquisitions