Friday, October 10th, 2014...12:11 pm

D.H. Lawrence on strike

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D.H. LawrenceThe Modern Books and Manuscripts department recently acquired the manuscript of D.H. Lawrence’s short story “Her Turn.”

Ten onionskin pages depict a battle of wills between a husband and wife fighting over shares of the husband’s strike pay. The story was timely – Lawrence composed it over a three-day period in March 1912, during a month-long strike in which over a million British coal miners participated.

Lawrence’s story does not delve into the reasons for the strike or advocate for any political change, but the plot’s small domestic battle mirrors the period’s larger social unrest. Current events clearly influenced Lawrence’s work; he wrote two other strike-related stories the same month “The Miner at Home” and “Strike Pay.”

Lawrence, Her Turn

Lawrence originally titled the story “The collier’s wife scores;” this title was crossed out on the manuscript and replaced with “Her turn” when Lawrence revised the story for publication in the Westminster Gazette in September 1913.

The manuscript of “Her turn” joins Houghton’s significant collection of Lawrence’s literary manuscripts, correspondence, and published works.

Images: Undated photograph of D.H. Lawrence, MS Am 1891.24. Manuscript of “Her Turn,” 2004M-43. Gift of Medora Geary, class of 2000.

Thanks to Heather Cole, Assistant Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts, for contributing this post.

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