Book: Lady Chatterley wasn't fictional

Feb. 28, 2005 at 1:39 PM

LONDON, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- A new biography of D.H. Lawrence claims the woman portrayed in the steamy novel, "Lady Chatterley's Lover," was Lawrence's wife, The Telegraph reports.

"The Life of An Outsider," by John Worthen, emeritus professor of Lawrence studies at Nottingham University, describes Lawrence's frustration at his wife's affair and his debilitating tuberculosis. This mirrored that of Lady Chatterley's husband, who was rendered impotent by a war wound.

While the book character has the bored aristocratic Lady Chatterley taking on her husband's gamekeeper, in reality, Lawrence's wife Frieda, took Italian infantry soldier Angelo Ravagli as a lover.

Lawrence first met Ravagli in 1925 and taught him English without realizing his wife was attracted to the officer. Lawrence died in 1930 at the age of 44 and his widow married Ravagli in 1950.

"Lady Chatterley's Lover," notorious for its sexually explicit scenes and use of four-letter words, was written while the Lawrences lived at the Villa Mirenda, near Florence, in the 1920s. The book was first published in Italy in 1928.

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