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David Herbert Richards "D. H." Lawrence (11 September 1885 - 2 March 1930) was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter. His collected works represent, among other things, an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation. Some of the issues Lawrence explores are emotional health, vitality, spontaneity and instinct.
Lawrence's opinions earned him many enemies and he endured official persecution, censorship, and misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in a voluntary exile which he called his "savage pilgrimage". At the time of his death, his public reputation was that of a pornographer who had wasted his considerable talents. E. M. Forster, in an obituary notice, challenged this widely held view, describing him as, "The greatest imaginative novelist of our generation." Later, the influential Cambridge critic F. R. Leavis championed both his artistic integrity and his moral seriousness, placing much of Lawrence's fiction within the canonical "great tradition" of the English novel.
Lawrence is perhaps best known for his novels Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, Women in Love and Lady Chatterley's Lover. Within these Lawrence explores the possibilities for life within an industrial setting. In particular Lawrence is concerned with the nature of relationships that can be had within such a setting. Though often classed as a realist, Lawrence in fact uses his characters to give form to his personal philosophy. His depiction of sexual activity, though seen as shocking when he first published in the early 20th century, has its roots in this highly personal way of thinking and being. It is worth noting that Lawrence was very interested in the sense of touch and that his focus on physical intimacy has its roots in a desire to restore an emphasis on the body, and re-balance it with what he perceived to be Western civilisation's over-emphasis on the mind.
David Herbert Richards Lawrence (1885-1930) was an important but controversial English writer whose prolific output included novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, travel books, literary criticism, and more.