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Distributed for Haus Publishing

Lady Chatterley’s Villa

D. H. Lawrence on the Italian Riviera

November 1925 found David and Frieda Lawrence on the Italian Riviera, looking for sun, sea air, and health. The Lawrences were exhilarated by life in their rented villa, set amid olive groves and vineyards, with a view of the sparkling Mediterranean. The drab English winter couldn’t have been farther away.

But before long Frieda found herself irresistibly attracted to their landlord, a dashing Italian army officer, and the resulting affair served as the background for Lawrence’s writing: while in the villa, he turned out two stories, “Sun” and “The Virgin and the Gypsy,” both prefiguring Lady Chatterley’s Lover in their depiction of women fatally drawn to earthy, muscular men.

Built on the unpublished, and previously unexplored, letters and diaries of Rina Secker, the Anglo-Italian wife of Lawrence’s publisher, and featuring never-before-published letters from Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Villa reconstructs the drama of the tempestuous marriage, and the ways it fired Lawrence’s creativity. Along the way, Richard Owen offers a new accounting of Lawrence’s passion for Italy, tracing his travels along the coasts and islands and his deep engagement with Italian culture. This exploration of a little-studied, but crucial period of the writer’s life will be a must for Lawrence’s many fans.

240 pages | 4 1/2 x 8 3/8 | © 2014

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory


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Reviews

“Gracefully and mischievously, [Owen] portrays the sunlit Riviera landscape and warmth of Italian society in which Lawrence was slowly resurrected and enabled to write.”

Times (UK)

“Beautifully produced. . . . This is a story of friendships and a valuable portrait of a great writer at work.”

Country Life

"[An] excellently sourced book."

Times Literary Supplement

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
 
Introduction
1. Nottingham to Lake Garda
2. Gargnano to Lerici
3. Capri to Sicily
4. Sardinia to Spotorno
5. The Lure of the Italian Riviera
6. Rina and Martin
7. Down There By The Sea
8. The Villa Bernarda
9. Naked in the Sun
10. The Virgin and the Gipsy
11. ‘Such Combustible People!’
12. The Villa Mirenda
13. Florence and Lady Chatterley
14. Death in Vence
15. DHL the Italian
 
Postscript
Dramatis Personae
A Note on Sources
Endnotes
Bibliography

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