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D. H. Lawrence


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This new biography by respected Lawrence scholar Worthen (D.H. Lawrence: The Early Years 1885-1912) considers the writer's life and career in the context of what Worthen convincingly shows to have been a lifelong, instinctive rebellion against his family, his culture, his country and the enigmas of his own body. In developing his thesis, Worthen provides perceptive links between the people in Lawrence's life and his fictional characters. A stylishly written, smoothly developed analysis of Lawrence's conflicted psyche illuminates his love-hate relationship with his mother, his early platonic and romantic attachments, his interaction with the writers, artists and thinkers of his generation, and his grand passion for Frieda von Richthofen Weekley, the sexually uninhibited German aristocrat who left her English husband and three children to join Lawrence in a tempestuous, sometimes unfaithful union. (Worthen has unearthed new material that contradicts Frieda's version of Lawrence's last days.) Their peripatetic, often penurious life together unreels with sustained suspense as Lawrence's quest for the most salubrious place to unleash his creative imagination and, after his tuberculosis was diagnosed, to preserve his health. Worthen empathetically explores Lawrence's charming but often exasperating persona, his commitment to investigating the body and its sexual needs, his courage in writing Lady Chatterley's Lover. Worthen's fidelity to detail never slows the momentum of the tragic arc of Lawrence's life and the importance of his literary legacy. 8 pages of b&w photos; maps. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"A intimate and compelling portrait...brings to light the many fascinating aspects of Lawrence's life."
"A stylishly written, smoothly developed analysis of Lawrence's conflicted psyche."
"A fine, cogent and carefully reasoned book, and surely a major contribution to contemporary Lawrence scholarship."
"Worthen's single-volume life has the merit of pursuing a theme detectable in every phase of Lawrence's life: his perpetually renewed isolation."
"Lawrence blazes like a figure of myth from the documentary record of his existence. We are with Lawrence every step of the way as he rants and tramps around the world, quarrelling, moaning, scrimping and saving, writing and writing."

Noted folk and fairy tale scholar Zipes (German, Scandinavian, & Dutch, Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Beautiful Angiola: The Lost Sicilian Folk and Fairy Tales of Laura Gonzenbach) devotes a significant part of his slim volume, published on the 2005 bicentenary of Danish children's author Hans Christian Andersen's birth, to how the famous writer has been intentionally or otherwise misunderstood and misinterpreted over time. Zipes takes a sociohistorical and biographical approach to Andersen's life and works, focusing on the popular fairy tales but also covering a selection of his lesser-known novels, stories, poetry, drama, and travel books. Two of the four chapters are expanded from previously published essays. Libraries with limited funding seeking a biography on this writer are advised to purchase Jens Andersen's fuller Hans Christian Andersen or Jackie Wullschlager's Hans Christian Andersen: The Life of a Storyteller. This work is recommended for larger academic libraries and those with Germanic or Scandinavian studies departments.-Martha Stephenson, Univ. of Wisconsin Lib., Whitewater Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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