Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Launching Lawrence

In the spring of 1908, the unpublished D.H. Lawrence sent Chesterton one of his essays, asking for an appraisal. After a number of weeks, and much to Lawrence's displeasure, Mrs. Chesterton returned the manuscript, with apologies, saying that her husband's workload prevented him from evaluating the work as Lawrence had requested. [John Worthen, D.H. Lawrence, Cambridge, 1991, p. 190]

In 1909 Ford Maddox Ford attended a Dutch-Treat dinner for writers and publishers presided over by the poet Herbert Trench. At his table of five, Ford was joined by H.G. Wells, Hilaire Belloc, Maurice Baring and G.K. Chesterton. When Belloc began to insult a novelist at the next table, an embarrassed Wells changed the subject by loudly asking Ford to tell everyone about a new writer he had just discovered. Thus did Belloc help launch the career of D.H. Lawrence after Chesterton had taken a pass. [Edward Nehls, D. H. Lawrence, Madison, 1957, v. I, p. 202]

1 comment:

Nick Milne said...

Who can say what monstrous Lawrentian dreck we might have been spared had the illustrious GKC been able to take a hand in this novelist's early development? We might never have had to suffer through Women in Love, for example, and Chesterton may never have had to write a ballade about how tired he himself was of Lawrence.