Lady Chatterley’s Lover

  • John Worthen


The Plumed Serpent, unlike most of Lawrence’s later novels, contains few seeds which could germinate in another novel; it is not a work which discovers a new subject as it goes along. It does, however, seem to have immediately provoked a piece of writing which is, in part, a commentary upon it; while still ill in Mexico, in March and April 1925—he was to write no other fiction at all for eight months—Lawrence began a story he called ‘The Flying Fish’, which he felt so important that, being unable to write himself, he dictated its first few pages to Frieda (Ted-lock 55). ‘The Flying Fish’ shows Gethin Day, sick with malaria, stuck in Mexico, with his ‘old connections and his accustomed world’ broken from him, wanting to go back to the family home ‘among the hills in the middle of England’ (Phx 781–2). ‘Now he was sick from the soul outwards, and the common day had cracked for him, and the uncommon day was showing him its immensity, he felt that home was the place’ (Phx 783). The relevance of such a conclusion for the author of The Plumed Serpent is clear. Lawrence never finished ‘The Flying Fish’: but the fiction he wrote in the next three years of his life was extraordinarily concerned with England; the vision of the ‘greater day’ would not be as alien as it is in The Plumed Serpent, but would be located among those hills ‘in the middle of England’.


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  1. 4.
    See Paintings of D. H. Lawrence, ed. M. Levy (London: Cory, Adams & Mackay, 1964), pp: 75, 91.Google Scholar

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© John Worthen 1979

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  • John Worthen

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