The Priest of Love: A Life of D. H. Lawrence

The Priest of Love: A Life of D. H. Lawrence

The Priest of Love: A Life of D. H. Lawrence

The Priest of Love: A Life of D. H. Lawrence

Synopsis

"Moore, the world's leading authority on the life of Lawrence, has produced an important new revision of his standard biography of the novelist.... So much has been learned about Lawrence in the last dozen years that this new edition, long overdue, constitutes a major event for the myriad admirers of Lawrence and students of modern literature. Unlike some recent literary biographers, the author is not defeated by the wealth of materials at his disposal. If anything, this edition is even more carefully shaped than its predecessor. Moore has added extensively to his biography.... [The author's] sympathetic portrait in the biography is always judicious, and he isn't afraid to talk about such topics as homosexuality, anti-Semitism, and the fascistic strain in the novels of the 1920's."- Keith Cushman , Library

Excerpt

'I shall always be a priest of love,' D. H. Lawrence said in a letter written on Christmas Day, 1912, soon after he had completed his first major novel, Sons and Lovers. That statement gives the present book its title. In earlier incarnations, beginning in 1954, this biography of Lawrence was called The Intelligent Heart. I had wanted to name the first edition The Priest of Love, but ran into walls of opposition and settled for The Intelligent Heart, a title suggested by a friend. That remained its title in the British and American reprints of 1962. But it has always embarrassed me because it doesn't seem truly Lawrencean and is really a somewhat pretentious oxymoron -- at least an overextended metaphor. I had favored The Priest of Love, not out of any attempt at sensationalism, but because it is so appropriate and because, once again, Lawrence called himself that. So now, in this extensively revised and augmented edition -- I have written what is really a new book -- we have Lawrence as the 'priest of love'; and, as Lawrence added, just after using that phrase, 'I shall preach my heart out, Lord bless you.'

In the last few years the picture of Lawrence has changed significantly. A great many new facts about his life have appeared, some of them in the excellent 'composite biography' assembled by the late Edward Nehls, others in the letters Lawrence wrote to Blanche Jennings and Louisa Burrows, as well as in numerous other documents. Further, Warren Roberts A Bibliography of D. H. Lawrence has greatly added to our knowledge of the man and the writer. Not least, an adjustment of critical perspectives has made him a major subject in university courses.

Lawrence critics now generally agree that his finest work is found in the pair of somewhat related novels, The Rainbow (1915) and Women in Love (1920). Two fairly recent volumes devoted to Lawrence -- by Eliseo Vivas and George H. Ford -- have dealt with Lawrence's post- 1920 writings in earlier parts of their books and have saved the last sections for climactic discussions of The Rainbow and Women in Love, emphasizing their supremacy. But the Lawrence of the last decade of his life (1920-30) can't be dismissed, for even if he never matched those two books in their genre, he wrote at least one important novel in . . .

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