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Copies are unlikely to be burned in public, there will be no prosecution, and no one is likely to be depraved or corrupted or even slightly outraged.D H Lawrence, relentlessly hounded by the British establishment throughout his career, was back in court 30 years after his death, accidentally inspiring a seismic cultural shift – much of which encapsulated the exact antithesis of his ethos, presented in this extended sermon on the horrors of war, industrialisation and, most of all, the beauty and purity of loving sexual relations.Considerable effort went into disproving the possibility that adolescents might be depraved and the vulnerable driven to crime by reading the unexpurgated text.
Don’t you think there’s something slightly comic about E B solemnly declaring that L C Lover is a fit and proper book for everyone’s reading?
T S Eliot was also a candidate for the prosecution, on the basis that he had once criticised Lady Chatterley’s Lover in print.
But Eliot was already with the defence, providing a moving explanation for his earlier aberration.
However, by August 1960, prosecution of Penguin had become inevitable.
'I don’t think this novel is one of Lawrence’s best, or a great work of art,’ wrote Doris Lessing when approached by the defence as a possible witness.