Born in 1885 in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, England, D. H. Lawrence spent a life of controversy, in part because of his unconventional sexual views, but also because of the political and social attitudes of many works of his fiction and books of poetry.
He began writing at the age of nineteen, and being admitted through a scholarship to the University of Nottingham, he composed several notebooks which established his poetics. From 1908 to 1912 he taught in London, publishing his first novel, The White Peacock (1911), followed the next year by The Trespasser. That same year he met the German-born aristocratic Frieda Weekley, with whom he eloped to Germany, leaving behind her husband and three small children. Two years later, upon her divorce, they were married in Italy. They returned to England for World War I.
While in Italy, Lawrence finished Sons and Lovers, which he published in 1913. The same year his first collection of poetry appeared, Love Poems and Others. In 1915 he published the novel The Rainbow, followed by two further collections of poetry, Amores (1916) and Look! We Have Come Through! (1917). His increasing ill-health forced him to travel the world to various places, including Sicily, Ceylon, Australia, the United States and Mexico.
He finished one of his major works of fiction, Women in Love, in 1920, and over the next few years, in Mexico and New Mexico in the United States, worked on several important novels, including Aaron’s Rod (1922) and Kangaroo (1923). In these books Lawrence promoted his anti-democratic viewpoints, which later lead to his being seen as a sympathizer with fascist viewpoints. But, in point of fact, Lawrence changed his political and social views radically during these years, later denouncing his call for a “natural aristocracy.” During these same years, he published several new collections of poetry, namely Tortoises (1921) and Birds, Beasts, and Flowers (1923). His Collected Poems appeared in 1929.
Lawrence spent his last five years near Florence and in southern France, where he died of tuberculosis in 1930. His most controversial novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, was privately printed in 1928.
BOOKS OF POETRY:
Love Poems and Others (London: Duckworth, 1913); Amores (London, 1916); Look! We Have Come Through! (London: Chatto & Windus, 1917); New Poems (London: M. Secker, 1918); Bay (London: Beaumont, 1919); Tortoises (London: T. Seltzer, 1921); Birds, Beasts, and Flowers (London: T. Seltzer, 1923); The Collected Poems of D. H. Lawrence (Volume I: Rhyming Poems; Volume II: Unrhyming Poems) (London: M. Secker, 1928); Pansies (New York: Knopf, 1929); Nettles (London: Faber, 1930); Last Poems, edited by Richard Aldington and Giuseppe Orioli (G. Orioli, 1932) (New York: Viking, 1933); Fire and Other Poems (Grahhorn Press, 1950); The Complete Poems of D. H. Lawrence, collected and edited with an introduction and notes by Vivian e Sola Pinto and Warren Roberts (London: Heinemann, 1964).