1st Edition

The Hidden D. H. Lawrence Unmasking a Lyrical Genius

By Myron Tuman Copyright 2024
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Hidden D. H. Lawrence is a new study of the psychological and literary aspects of a great writer’s lyrical genius. It explores how Lawrence, when writing on his favorite subject, the relations between men and women, moved so quickly between heavy-handed exposition and deeply inspired prose, depending on the gender of the object of his attention. Nowhere is this clearer than in the three grand love scenes from Lady Chatterley’s Lover, those cut from the first American edition of 1932. In these scenes, Mellors, Lawrence’s usual alter ego, suddenly and almost magically becomes the object of attention, although now seen through the eyes of his female protagonist. It may seem as if Lawrence’s purpose here is to probe a woman’s psyche, until one realizes that it is only such moments—when his focus seems less on his female character than the erotic allure of a powerful man—that unlock Lawrence’s lyrical genius. The claim here is that in his major novels and stories, Lawrence was less interested in exploring the emotional lives of women than in using his female characters (as well as many sensitive male protagonists) to explore his own psychic life, one marked by the persistent attraction to the image of a strong male—an inner life that for the last century has been hiding in plain sight.

    1. Introduction—A Writer’s “Winter” Thoughts 2. Lady Chatterley’s Hidden Lover

    ●       A “Tender” Lover or a Reluctant One?

    ●       The Two Mellors—As Subject and Object

    ●       A Tale of Two Bodies

    ●       The Two Mellors, Continued

    ●       On Sodomy—A Coda

    3. Adolescence—Angst and Exuberance

    ●       The Great Friend of His Youth

    ●       “But the Water Loves Me”

    ●       “Life … Full of Glamour for Us Both”

    ●       The Climax and Its Aftermath

    ●       Happy Days—A Coda

    4. The Other Three Women

    ●       “Clara Dawes”—Lawrence’s First Adult Relationship

    ●       Frieda Weekley—First Impressions

    ●       Frieda Weekley—The “Honeymoon”

    ●       Rosalind Baynes—Lawrence’s Final Partner?

    5. Greiffenhagen’s Shepherd

    ●       A Passionate Embrace

    ●       Demon Lovers—Men and Other Beasts

    ●       His Fearsome Father

    ●       “Under the Colliery Railway”—Being Kissed by a Miner

    6. Man-to-Man

    ●       Wrestling with Desire—Women in Love

    ●       “Noli Me Tangere”—Curtailed Desire in Three Stories

    ●       Two Gay Men in Lawrence’s Life—Maurice Magnus and Walt Whitman

    ●       The Limits of Friendship

    7. Hiding in Plain Sight–Five Stories about Women

    ●       A Time in the “Sun”

    ●       The Ladybird—A Dream of Coming Out

    ●       The Fox—Desire and Its Aftermath

    ●       “The Princess”—The Fear of Being Touched

    ●       “The Woman Who Rode Away”—No Turning Back

    8. His Father’s Body

    ●       “Odour of Chrysanthemums”

    ●       In Italy, Dreaming of Men

    9. In Australia—Man Alone


    Myron Tuman, with a Ph.D. in Victorian literature from Tulane, taught at universities in West Virginia, Alabama, and Louisiana. Since 2006, he has published a series of literary studies of great writers and the psychic strains of family life: Melville’s Gay Father, on men and their sons; Don Juan and His Daughter, on women and their fathers; The Sensitive Son, on men and their mothers; and The Stuttering Son, on men and their fathers.

    "In this imaginative and rapturous reading of D.H. Lawrence, Myron Tuman tunes in to the writer's “winter prose,” or the interior fixation that drove his literary imagination, finding textual evidence of his complex erotic yearning to be the recipient of a virile male lover."

    – Rachel Cleves, author of Unspeakable, a biography of Norman Douglas

    "Myron Tuman deftly ranges across Lawrence’s biography and oeuvre to uncover and explore the homoerotism that so often appears in disguise. Tuman not only surfaces Lawrence’s attraction to the male body, he also illuminates the connection of this underlying trope to the quality of Lawrence’s writings. The interpretation that, at its most lyrical, Lawrence’s prose involves male-male desire is persuasive and a welcome addition to the literature on homoeroticism in Lawrence."

    – Judith Ruderman, author of Race and Identity in D. H. Lawrence

    "In The Hidden D. H. Lawrence, Myron Tuman sets out to demonstrate Lawrence's lifelong fascination with the image of a strong, silent male.  He argues that this Jamesian "figure in the carpet" animates much of Lawrence's greatest writing.  The Hidden D. H. Lawrence offers a fascinating new perspective on the full range of Lawrence's novels and stories."

    – Keith Cushman, recipient of the Harry T. Moore Award for Lifetime Contributions to D. H. Lawrence Studies