Written sporadically (most of it several times) from 1906 to 1909, The White Peacock provided Lawrence with a ready medium for his prodigal early efflorescence. Had he been more interested in the action, it could have been a greater novel. Lawrence’s ‘daimon’, however, made him impatient of constraints at all times, and he was drawn more to natural description and the on-going of life than to plot, which ‘bored’ him (as it always would). His novel was to be ‘a mosaic, a mosaic of moods’. First it was Laetitia, then Nethermere. He thought the former the only important result of his college career, and describes it banteringly in terms of sentiment (all about love), rhapsodies on spring, heroines galore, no plot, and nine-tenths adjectives (15.iv.08). Two months later he attaches more importance to ‘fine scenes and effects’ than to reality in his characters (another pointer to the future). In his first term at Croydon, before he began the Nethermere version, he realized that his protracted dialogues could be reduced in narrative or descriptive form, and that there was too much ‘metaphoric fancy’ and talk for the sake of ‘talk about themes’. He no longer believed that Lettie broke off her engagement to Leslie (11.xi.08).