Lady Chatterley’s Lover as a weapon against censorship in the USA

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.


In 1954, when Grove Press was still in its infancy, Mark Schorer, the distinguished literary scholar and professor of English at Berkeley, wrote to me suggesting that we publish an unexpurgated edition of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. D. H. Lawrence’s last major work had long been banned in England and put on the “proscribed” list by the United States Post Office Department. Now, Professor Schorer, whom I had never met in person, had placed the Lady on our doorstep. Here she was, waiting for her liberator. If we could prove to the satisfaction of the US courts our claims for the artistry of Lawrence as a writer and the specific merits of Lady Chatterley’s Lover as literature, the victory for freedom of speech would be tremendous. It would be a savage kick in the face to Death and a lovely kiss to Life. What was more, it could afford me the opportunity to publish the novel I really had wanted to put out into the public sphere since my college days at Swarthmore: Tropic of Cancer. This was clearly a Trojan horse for Grove. If I could get Lawrence through, then Henry Miller might surely follow.

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