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D. H. Lawrence

Born 1779 Died 1863

David Herbert Lawrence was born in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, a coal mining town, on September 11, 1885. He was the fourth child of Arthur Lawrence, an illiterate coal miner, and Lydia Beardsall-Lawrence. His mother was very literate, and sometimes wrote poetry herself as a diversion. She encouraged her children to become educated, despite their apparent poverty. Background differences seemed to be the cause of many disputes between Lawrence's parents. Their relationship, combined with the fact that Eastwood valued the idea of earning a living through physical labor, seemed an unlikely background for a boy who was more interested in books, and who's life's work was writing about nature and fulfilled relationships. Very often, Lawrence's work would feature the coal-mining Eastwood as the setting in his writings.

From the age of seven, Lawrence attended Beauvale Boys School, and in his final year (1898) he won a scholarship to Nottingham High School, thanks to the city council, which had decided to sponsor children of the poor. He was only the second child of a miner to attend school at Nottingham. Despite the scholarship, his school still cost the family. It is suspected that a family crisis contributed to a drop in Lawrence's grades, and after three years, in 1901, at age 16, he left school and began working as a clerk.

Working in a factory was a strain, and shortly after his brother died of erysipelas (a skin disease, complicated by pneumonia), Lawrence was struck with double pneumonia. He nearly died, but as his mother nursed him to health they bonded, and he began to carry the weight of her hopes.

While recovering, Lawrence spent a great deal of time at the Haggs farm, where the Chambers, who were friends of the family, lived and worked. It was in the countryside two miles north of Eastwood, and the natural setting was inspiring. Here, Lawrence found a reading companion in Jessie Chambers, their youngest daughter, who he had many literary discussions with.

After working as a "pupil-teacher" in the British Schools of Eastwood for two years, Lawrence placed in the first class of the first division after taking the King's Scholarship exam. It was decided that after a year of working in the British Schools, mostly to save some money, he would attend Nottingham University College.

It was during this year, in the spring of 1905, that Lawrence began writing. He had been encouraged by Jessie Chambers, who was fascinated with poetry. In 1907, while studying at Nottingham, he had a short story published in a local paper. In 1908, he joined "The Society for the Study of Social Problems."

His poetry finally caught the attention of publishers in 1909, when Jessie Chambers sent some of his poems to the editor of the English Review. The editor, critic and novelist Ford Madox Hueffer, decided to print the poems and even asked to meet Lawrence.

In 1911, after another bout of pneumonia, Lawrence decided to leave teaching, and earn a living with his writing. It wasn't long before he met Frieda Weekley, who he started a love affair with and eventually married in 1914. She was the inspiration for his poem, "Bei Hennef."

Lawrence wrote not only poems, but also short stories, novels, plays, travel books, and letters. He is now recognized as one of the great English writers of the 20th century.

Biography by Alice
Submitted unknown