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November 1925: In search of health and sun, the writer D. H. Lawrence arrives on the Italian Riviera with his wife, Frieda, and is exhilarated by the view of the sparkling Mediterranean from his rented villa, set amid olives and vines. But over the next six months, Frieda will be fatally attracted to their landlord, a dashing Italian army officer. This incident of infidelity influenced Lawrence to write two short stories, “Sun” and “The Virgin and the Gypsy,” in which women are drawn to earthy, muscular men, both of which prefigured his scandalous novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
In DH Lawrence in Italy, Owen reconstructs the drama leading up to the creation of one of the most controversial novels of all time by drawing on the unpublished letters and diaries of Rina Secker, the Anglo-Italian wife of Lawrence’s publisher. In addition to telling the story of the origins of Lady Chatterley, DH Lawrence in Italy explores Lawrence’s passion for all things Italian, tracking his path to the Riviera from Lake Garda to Lerici, Abruzzo, Capri, Sicily, and Sardinia.
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