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Lot 144
LAWRENCE, DAVID HERBERT (1885-1930, novelist and poet)
Sold for £6,000 (US$ 9,982) inc. premium
Lot Details
LAWRENCE, DAVID HERBERT (1885-1930, novelist and poet)
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF HIS SHORT STORY 'LAURA PHILIPPINE', signed at the end ('D.H. Lawrence'), with a number of autograph revisions and insertions, the cancelled words unpublished, 4 full pages, large quarto, pencil note at head in another hand 'From Curtis Brown Ltd', some short tears (one strengthened with a short strip of tape) and slightly curled edges, held in top corner with a metal clip, in a light green manila folder with Lawrence's phoenix plate inscribed 'MS. by D.H. Lawrence "Laura-Philippine" - Story' [1927]

Footnotes

  • COMPLETE MANUSCRIPTS OF IMAGINATIVE WORKS BY LAWRENCE ARE EXTREMELY RARE: only one other has appeared at auction in the last thirty-five years and more (see previous lot).

    The manuscript was sent (evidently sold) by Frieda Lawrence to Christine Hughes whose daughter Mary Christine was the original Laura Philippe Homes of the story in which Lawrence sketches the aimless liberation of the flapper whose life is a succession of cocktails and dances. One of the four accompanying autograph letters signed by Frieda Lawrence, that of 15 September 1937, is to Mary Christine herself and relates that the piece was written 'when Lawrence came back from a visit to you in Rome and sat chuckling to himself, writing this sketch. He had a great time writing it.' She adds: 'It was awfully nice to see you & your husband & that you are more than "allright" any body can see.' In an earlier letter Frieda offers Christine Hughes the manuscript for $100. She also tells Christine Hughes how much she enjoyed visiting her and gives her the address of Knud Merrild.

    In a letter to E.H. Brewster of 9 June 1927, Lawrence described an horrendous visit to Florence with the two Hughes women: '...They simply can't see anything: you might as well ask a dog to look at a picture or a statue. They're stone blind culturally...Mary C. frankly loathes anything that wants to be looked at - except herself, other girls, clothes and shops...oh, how glad I shall be to see the last of them...' (Collected Letters of D.H. Lawrence, 1962, edited by Harry Moore, volume ii, pp. 976 and 983-984). The story first appeared in T.P.'s Weekly on 7 July 1928 and was republished in Phoenix II. Uncollected, Unpublished, and Other Prose Works by D.H. Lawrence, edited by W. Roberts and H.T. Moore, New York, 1959.

    The most substantial revision in this manuscript is towards the end: '...laconically. The old ones hot like forty foxes, as far as I can see' is crossed through and replaced with '...mildly. I see old birds trotting like old foxes so why shouldn't I, if I'm ninety...'

    '[Extracts]...She is quite a lovely girl, tall and white-skinned, but except when she's dancing, or driving a car, or riding a horse, she's languid. Having had what is called a good education, she drawls in slang. She has rather wonderful blue eyes, asleep rather than sleepy, with the oddest red-gold lashes coming down over them; close ['thick' deleted in the MS], red-gold lashes. You notice the lashes because most of the daytime she doesn't trouble to raise them...At half-past twelve you find her in the hall in an elegant wrap, and a nut of a little blue hat, looking as if she might possibly be drifting out of doors to commit suicide in some semi-delicious fashion...She looked at nothing - unless it might be a well-dressed woman. She was interested in nothing: unless it were the boys..."Do you Charleston?" she said. It was the day before yesterday, when people still said it. And she started wriggling ['wiggling' in the MS] in the middle of the drawing-room. She was flushed, animated, flashing, a weird sort of Bacchanal on the hills of Rome, wriggling ['wiggling' in the MS] there, and her white teeth showing in an odd little smile...They were really nice poems, like little sighs. They were poems to yellow leaves, then to a grey kitten, then to a certain boy. They were ghostly wisps of verse, somehow touching and wistful...'
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