Lawrence knew, even before he finished Sons and Lovers, that he would be starting another novel almost immediately. But that novel was not, as it turned out, to be his next important project; it took him several months to find out what that was. He had told Garnett at the end of October that he would be starting ‘Scargill Street … in a fortnight’ (30 x 1912); Garnett had obviously heard of the idea before—it may well have been that novel ‘purely of the common people’ (04 viii 1912) which Lawrence told him about in August. The novel with the best claim to be ‘Scargill Street’ is the co-called ‘Burns Novel’ which Lawrence in fact started in mid-December; it tells us a good deal about the kind of book Lawrence was turning to after Sons and Lovers. He wrote to Garnett:

I shall make him live near home, as a Derbyshire man and shall fictionise the circumstances. I think I can do him almost like an autobiography … I’ve only got Lockhart’s Life. I should like to know more about the Highland Mary episode. Do you think it’s interesting?

(17 xii 1912)


Social Revolution Walled City Moral Scheme Passionate Love Chapter Title 
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© John Worthen 1979

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  • John Worthen

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