Lawrence, England and the Novel
Lawrence’s early life demonstrated to him the divisions of the community in which he grew up; besides having a miner for a father and a woman who had been a school-teacher for a mother, he was himself a scholarship boy, encouraged to ‘get on’ in life and to free himself from the economic constrictions of his parents’ life; but he knew the life of the miner’s kitchen better than any other, and seemed to be, of Eastwood people, ‘bone of their bone’ (Delavenay ii 665). His attachment to that community as he grew up was, however, as divided as the community itself. He felt strongly drawn to it, and as violently repelled; he carried the memory of it round the world with him, and recreated its whole detailed life in novel after novel written in places as far apart as Cornwall, Sicily, and the woods around the Villa Mirenda near Florence. In that last case, it was a life he had not known personally for nearly twenty years. It was also true that he could not bear to live in England, nor to visit it for very long.