In 1960 Penguin Books were prosecuted when they tried to publish Lady Chatterley's "Lover" unexpurgated for the first time. What followed was the most talked-about obscenity trial of the twentieth century, which resulted in a 'not guilty' verdict. Penguin's successful defence of the book's literary merit was a victory of free speech, and made Lawrence's story of the affair between a married woman and her gamekeeper an instant bestseller. This special edition celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first UK publication of D.H. Lawrence's unexpurgated novel in 1960 and the most talked-about obscenity trial of the twentieth century. It includes afterwords by Geoffrey Robertson QC, about the legal case that changed Britain, and Steve Hare, revealing the story behind Penguin's decision to publish, as well as a detailed timeline and never-before-published letters and documents relating to the trial.
Perhaps the most famous of Lawrence's novels, the 1928 Lady Chatterley's Lover is no longer distinguished for the once-shockingly explicit treatment of its subject matter--the adulterous affair between a sexually unfulfilled upper-class married woman and the game keeper who works for the estate owned by her wheelchaired husband. Now that we're used to reading about sex, and seeing it in the movies, it's apparent that the novel is memorable for better reasons: namely, that Lawrence was a masterful and lyrical writer, whose story takes us bodily into the world of its characters.