novel by D.H. Lawrence that became famous as the
subject of an obscenity trial
Lady Chatterley's Lover was first
published privately in Florence, Italy, in 1928.
The story concerns a young married woman,
Constance (Lady Chatterley), whose upper class
husband, Clifford Chatterley, has been paralyzed
from the waist down due to an injury suffered
during World War I. Her husband's inability to
satisfy her sexually leads Constance into an
affair with a gamekeeper, introducing both sex
and class conflicts into the novel, which quickly
became known for its explicit descriptions of sex
and use of "naughty words." A heavily
censored, abridged version of Lady
Chatterley's Lover was published in the
United States by Alfred A. Knopf in 1928, and
Martin Secker published a "toned down"
version in Great Britain in 1932.
The first full unexpurgated
edition of Lady Chatterley's Lover to
appear in the United Kingdom was published by
Penguin Books in 1960. By publishing the work,
Penguin became the test case for the Obscene
Publications Act of 1959, which allowed
publishers to escape conviction if they could
show that a work was of literary merit. The
six-day trial was a major public event, and ended
with the jury returning a "not guilty"
verdict on November 2, 1960.
Left: Cover the Penguin Books 1960 edition
of Lady Chatterley's Lover.
Right: Eager customers queue up in front
of a London bookstall to purchase copies of Lady
Chatterley's Lover in November 1960.
Questions or comments about