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D. H. Lawrence: A Literary Life by John Worthen (auth.)

By John Worthen (auth.)

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How shall I squeeze my jostled, winded way into journalism' (Letters, I, p. 52). Inwood offered him no opportunities except those provided by hard work and luck; and as it turned out, Lawrence followed his chosen (and safe) career, and stuck to his teaching, though he later confessed that 'I hated it; I am no 6 D. H. 9 He would earn £95 a year in Croydon; he could do what his elder brother Ernest, working in London, had often failed to do - send money regularly back home, to help support his mother in Eastwood.

There was a glamour about those days, even something of a glitter. 14 London's pre-war literary world was remarkably small, and Lawrence was plunged into it as a curiosity - the son of a coal-miner who wrote poetry published by the English Review. 15 He received nothing but kindness and some slightly patronising (though helpful) interest; yet he knew how his background, and his profession as elementary schoolmaster, cut him off from it. Hueffer was the first person outside Lawrence's own immediate circle to see the sprawling manuscript of The White Peacock: He read it immediately, with the greatest cheery sort of kindness 10 D.

And he introduced him into literary circles; within a couple of months, Lawrence was attending literary parties in Hampstead where he met figures like H. G. Wells, W. B. Yeats, Ezra Pound and the editor of Dent's Everyman series of books, Ernest Rhys. Jessie Chambers wrote how: A new and immensely larger life was opening out before him. A kind of transfiguration from obscurity and uncertainty had taken place. Thanks to the kind offices of Ford Madox Hueffer his chance of a hearing was assured. And it had all come about so simply, almost without effort.

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