Murry made that diary note in February 1915, and The Rainbow had begun to incorporate something of that ’revolution of the conditions of life’ as Lawrence finished it during February and revised it from March till August. Its final social optimism is what Lawrence himself wished to communicate to the people of England in the summer of 1915. But by mid-October he had lost that optimism about the future of society; his magazine The Signature had failed to capture an audience, public meetings in a room above Fisher Street brought no success, and he found the unchanging pointlessness of the war a final demonstration of the end of man’s purposive belief in society (and in himself). Cynthia Asquith noted in her diary: ‘the war he sees as the pure suicide of humanity—a war without any constructive ideal in it, just pure senseless destruction’.2 He decided to emigrate to America, but on the November day when the Lawrences’ passports arrived, he also heard that Methuen had surrendered to the police all unsold and unbound copies of The Rainbow, had recalled all unsold copies from the bookshops, and would be facing charges of publishing an obscene book. The news must have come with depressing aptness; just as he was deciding not to work for England any more, his novel was charged with being unfit to be read by English people.


Social World Brilliant Green Individual Consciousness Constructive Ideal Military Conscription 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 2.
    Cynthia Asquith, Diaries 1915–1918 (London: Hutchinson, 1968), p. 89.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    F. R. Leavis, D. H. Lawrence (Cambridge: Gordon Fraser, 1930),Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    F. R. Leavis, For Continuity (Cambridge: Minority Press, 1933), pp. 120–3.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    George Orwell, The Collected Essays, journalism and Letters, 4 vols. (1968; rpt. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1970), IV, 52.Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    W. Charles Pilley, John Bull, 17 September 1921, p. 4.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    J. M. Murry, Nation and Athenaeum, 29 (13 August 1921), 713.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    David Cavitch, D. H. Lawrence and the New World (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1969), p. 62.Google Scholar
  8. 15.
    D. H. Lawrence, St Mawr & The Virgin and the Gypsy (1925 and 1930; rpt. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1950), p. 79.Google Scholar
  9. 16.
    Scott Sanders, D. H. Lawrence: The World of the Major Novels (London: Vision Press, 1973), pp. 123–32.Google Scholar
  10. 19.
    Keith Sagar, The Art of D. H. Lawrence (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1966), p. 96.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© John Worthen 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Worthen

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations