Eighty years after his death D.H. Lawrence has become a celebrity, the subject of passionate dispute, possibly more discussed than read. It is time to put the emphasis back on the novels and short stories, by exploring the context that led to their creation - Lawrence's upbringing and influences.
Although he led a wandering life, Lawrence's best work is located in the countryside of his youth, in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. An understanding of this district can help readers understand and enjoy Lawrence's work more fully, and this book aims to guide the visitor, either in person or in spirit, around Lawrence's `Heartlands'.
Heartlands also provides the reader with a biography of Lawrence's early life, and examines the complex cultural forces that inspired the young man, revealing the profound influences of home, school and chapel in Eastwood and district that led to such masterpieces as The Rainbow and Women in Love.
The role of walking in developing Lawrence's feelings for his `Heartlands' is also explored, and five walks which are described in Sons and Lovers are followed in the modern context, illustrating some of the changes that have affected the district in the past century.
Stephen Bailey taught English to international students for many years, in Barcelona, Tokyo, London and Prague. He is the author of Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students, Academic Writing for International Students of Business, and more locally, The Derbyshire Portway. He lives in Whatstandwell. Chris Nottingham is Emeritus Reader in Contemporary History at Glasgow Caledonian University. He is the author of The Pursuit of Serenity: Havelock Ellis and the New Politics and he writes mainly on the history of health and welfare. He lives in Ilkley.