The first thing to say about The Lost Cirl is that Lawrence wrote all of it in 1920. This needs saying because almost every discussion of the novel in the past twenty years has assumed that it was started in 1913; those making this assumption have included Cavitch, Daleski, Delavenay, Hough, Kermode, Leavis, Miko, Moore, Moynahan, Niven, Pritchard, Sanders, Sagar, Schorer, Roberts and Tedlock—as comprehensive a list of Lawrence scholars as one could find. This is not the place to discuss the actual relationship between The Lost Girl and its predecessors—some scenes from the ‘Paul Morel’ of 1911, an unfinished novel-fragment ‘Elsa Culverwell’ of 1912–13,1 the lost ‘Insurrection of Miss Houghton’ of 1913 and the lost beginning to a novel which Lawrence wrote in Capri in 1920. The Lost Girl certainly took over the situation of the real-life provincial family and household used in the first three of those; it is equally certain that in the case of the first two, though the family and household are identical to those described in the first part of The Lost Girl, the actual treatment, the tone, everything but the bare outline of Lawrence’s borrowing from the real-life Cullen family of Eastwood, are quite different.


Walk Away Narrative Style Substantial Corpus Bare Outline Uphill Struggle 


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  1. 3.
    H. L. Mencken to Fanny Butcher, 23 iv 1921; in New Mencken Letters, ed. C. Bode (New York: Dial Press, 1977), p. 141.Google Scholar

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© John Worthen 1979

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  • John Worthen

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