D H Lawrence’s Connections with West Berkshire (Part 3)

Introduction

Back in the early 1990s we were having our house painted by John Webb, who then lived on Pangbourne Road, Upper Basildon, next door to Myrtle Cottage. He told me that for the second year running a group of Japanese tourists had come to stand outside Myrtle Cottage, to see where the ‘great man’ had lived. The great man in question was D H Lawrence, who I later discovered is big in Japan. But as a local historian I knew that even though Myrtle Cottage was once located in the Parish of Pangbourne, it had always been an estate cottage and not somewhere a writer such as D H Lawrence would have stayed.

So I put on my sleuthing hat and eventually discovered that for a month in August 1919, D H Lawrence and his German wife Frieda had in fact stayed at The Myrtles (now called Kylemore) in Pangbourne. When I broke the news of my discovery to the then owners of Kylemore, they were staggered. Shannee Marks is American and a writer, while her husband Per is German and a sculptor; not quite a mirror image of the Lawrences but close. As the house name had changed the Japanese tour company had obviously done some research, found Myrtle Cottage in nearby Upper Basildon and had ended up taking their tour party to the wrong property.

I then found out that the University of Reading had acquired most of Lawrence’s voluminous correspondence from that period and that the Lawrences had actually had a longer period of residence in Hermitage before moving to Pangbourne. 

I was inspired to write this piece which has languished on my computer ever since and I am most grateful to Penny Post for agreeing to publish it here (in three parts) and to Thames & Hudson, Ltd for permission to reproduce photos from D.H. Lawrence by Harry T Moore and Warren Roberts.

Clive Williams
Local Historian

Part 1: Finding a Rural Idyll in West Berkshire

Part 3: DH Lawrence’s Final Months at Chapel Farm Cottage, Hermitage and life after leaving West Berkshire September 1919 to March 1935

September 1919

During September 1919 Lawrence conducted an intense correspondence with his agents, publishers and friends. Thomas Selzer (1875-1943) was a journalist, translator and publisher, who had been born in Russia but had moved to the States. By this time Lawrence had written Women in Love and was looking to have it published in the States. It was originally going to be called The Sisters but an Ada Cambridge born in 1844 had just published her novel The Three Sisters in 1914, so Women in Love it became. Lawrence described it as a sort of sequel to The Rainbow. As regards to the UK, Lawrence had written to Martin Secker, saying that he wanted Secker to publish. Martin Secker (1882-1978) was a London publisher.

Thomas Moult (1893-1974) then sent a cheque for an essay Lawrence had written. Moult was a journalist, writer and also a poet. Another cheque came from Sir Edward Marsh. Marsh (1872-1953) was a man of many parts. He was a patron of the arts, a translator, and a civil servant – for many years he was Winston Churchill’s right hand man and followed him from department to department. He was also Rupert Brookes’ literary executor.

Another letter went to yet another publisher Cyril Beaumont (1891-1976) who was publishing some of Lawrence’s poems.

In a letter to S S Koteliansky from Grimsbury Farm, dated 9 September, Lawrence mentions that he had found out that Shestov, whose work he had recently edited for Koteliansky – had written a book on Tchekov and that this had been published in England. Lawrence wanted to get hold of a copy and mentions that he will write to Tidmarsh. (Lytton Strachey lived at Tidmarsh Mill at the time and Tidmarsh had become the country base of the Bloomsbury set. They later moved to Ham, nr Shalbourne – now in Wilts but once part of Berkshire.)

Another letter went to Max Plowman from Chapel Farm Cottage on 11 September 1919 thanking him for an inscription he had been sent and for his support over The Rainbow. Plowman (1883-1941) was a journalist and poet. He had served throughout the War but in 1918 had resigned his commission, his experiences having turned him into a conscientious objector.

Photo of Lady Cynthia Asquith

A long and somewhat whimsical letter went from Chapel Farm Cottage on 16 September 1919 to Lady Cynthia Asquith, who had just given birth to a baby boy called Simon. 

“Will Simon be called Peter, and super hanc Petram shall you found your fortress? I suppose we shall have to see you madonnaing in the penny pictorials for a while. But beware, you know what comes to over pictorialized ladies. Didn’t one fall through a sky-light? Don’t Madonna for the Sunday press.

“So I expect you are on your legs again, cast forth from the hallucinatory Patmos of your bed. Simon! Simon! It has a Judaic sound. Better make a dart for the foam again, Aphrodite is better than any Judith, or than any Mary. Loathsome Judaea.

“What other news, save Simon? Are you richer? Are you glad to go back to Sussex Place? What is your husband doing? When I say richer, I merely mean ‘Bradburys’. Are you preparing to sally forth into the ‘monde’ as a sort of young matron? Pfui! Ah Bah! What is the new line? You’ll have to have a new line mere de troisIt is a bit of a quandary. Capitoline Juno? Ox-eyed Hera? Many-breasted Artemis? Ficherie. Mais toujours mere de troisSuper hanc petram. That’s how it always is, nowadays. Fate attenzione al sassoMind the stone. Cave petram.

 

No, I’m not angry with the world. I’ve got tired of being angry. I also want a new line. It’s time the world began to amuse me. I insist on being amused.

I believe in a little while I shall be having a sort of success in America. Better spend it in England. Time one had a bit of fun. Perhaps soon you may even be enjoying again a governmental daughter-in-lawdom.

Frieda who still insists on ‘feeling’ her trials, gets very cross, or weeps, when the horrors come from Germany. She has set her mind on going and she can’t go. Another quandary. Patience is justified of all her children. I suppose that when you acquire again a governmental lustre, Frieda will get her passport: quand nous avons change tout celaBut really I don’t care a jot about changing it.

Beaumont (dear, foetid little Beaumont) slowly filters through the poems. He must be nearing the end. Perhaps by Christmas he will actually spawn his production.

Matin Secker will bring out Women in Love in the Spring. Probably it will come out this autumn in America.

When I lunched with Eddie he says ‘Isn’t it remarkable, how the poets are returning to beauty! He was afraid to walk with me up the Mall afterwards and ran away like a respectable rabbit. What I want to know is, was it my appearance; or my reputation, or his – Bel Dio!

Pleasant mild autumn, many mushrooms, smoke from cottage gardens, chilly evenings etc toujours pedrix no, not even that – toujours lapin en casserole.

When I am in town again – before long- I will call at Sussex Place, if I am invited. Frieda sends her love: emotional goods not rationed; DHL”.

(Lady Cynthia Asquith (1887-1960) was a daughter of the Earl of Wemyss. She was a socialite but also a writer, best known for her ghost stories. She edited an anthology of these to which Lawrence contributed. She married Henry Herbert Asquith, who was Prime Minister until 1916, when replaced by David Lloyd George. This accounts for the several references to governmental influence.

Lawrence had won a scholarship to Nottingham High School, where the curriculum had given him a grounding in classical literature and modern languages. What comes across today as too clever by half and rather precious would have passed without comment in his day.

Ficherie’- it’s of no account; Super hanc Petram – literally ‘on this Peter’ refers to the fact that the latin for Peter is the same as the latin for Rock – On this rock will I build my church –St Matthew’s Gospel. The accident happened to an even better known socialite of the day – Lady Diana Cooper – who ended up in Lawrence’s novel ‘Aaron’s Rod’ as Lady Artemis Hooper, falling not through a sky-light but the window of a taxi.

Notes were signed by Sir John Bradbury, Secretary to the Treasury and were called Bradburys in popular parlance.

The ox-eyed Roman goddess Juno was the same as the Greek goddess Hera, who was the protectress of marriage. Mind the stone is repeated in Latin and Italian. Toujours perdrix – always a partridge – not a phrase one hears nowadays.

Women in Love was eventually published in 1920 as a sequel to The Rainbow published in 1915. As in most of Lawrence’s work the four main characters are based on Lawrence’s intimate circle. Ursula Brangwen is Frieda and her lover Rupert Birkin, the disaffected intellectual is Lawrence himself. Gudrun Brangwen, the artist. is Katherine Mansfield , the writer, and her lover, Gerald Crich, the industrialist, is Katherine’s husband. John Middleton Murry. Hermione Roddice was based on Lady Ottoline Morrell and as she appears as Birkin’s (Lawrence’s) discarded mistress, you can understand why ‘La Ott’, as Lawrence called her, was not amused. The physical attraction between Gerald and Rupert, reflects Lawrence’s own predilections.

The letters continued to flow forth from Chapel Farm Cottage. On 17 September he was writing to his agent J B Pinker; on 23 September to Martin Secker, the publisher. On 24 September he wrote to his friend Kot, expressing concern about Kot’s finances. It was not so long previously that Koteliansky had been helping out Lawrence. Lawrence writes “I owe you heaven knows how many pounds – Soon, I shall, I believe, begin to make money in America. Then you can have some freely. At present it’s the same old hand to mouth.” (Lawrence always had faith in his work and he was right – when ‘Women in Love’ was eventually published , his money problems were over.)

On 26 September Lawrence wrote to Martin Secker trying to persuade Secker to give Koteliansky an advance for the Shestov translation, which was a joint collaboration between Lawrence and Koteliansky. At the end of the letter he asks for Compton Mackenzie’s address. “Is he in Italy? I want to go to Italy – and I want to write to him about it.” (Martin Secker was also Compton Mackenzie’s publisher and fellow author Mackenzie and his wife had a Capri home from 1913-1920. Mackenzie (1883-1972) was a prolific writer, best known for his novels ‘Whisky Galore’ and ‘The Monarch of the Glen’. Born in England and educated at St Paul’s and Oxford he is credited with being one of the co-founders of the Scottish Nationalist Party. He distinguished himself in military intelligence in the First World War but moved quite happily in bohemian circles).

On 17 September 1919 Benjamin Huebsch, the American Publisher, had written to Lawrence “My Dear Lawrence – The difficulty of producing books is increasing to such an extent that I may possibly postpone issuing New Poems until after Christmas. The labor situation is acute and we are facing the possibility of a strike, which may interfere with the printing and binding of autumn books long since planned……. 

I posted you a copy of Look, we have come through and two copies of The Rainbow, the latter being from among the half a dozen that I have saved. Don’t refer any English Inquirers to me as the book is out of print. I am confident that the friends who advise me not to reprint it at present have at heart your best interests and mine. Our self-appointed censors (smut hounds as Henry L Mencken calls them) would love to make a ’case’ out of this, and unfortunately under our postal laws and system of justice the book would be officially suppressed (which it is not now); I would be fined or sent to jail and your reputation would suffer ….”

Lawrence replied to Huebsch on 30 September 1919 “Dear Huebsch, I had your letter yesterday, saying that you would probably postpone the New Poems till after Christmas – I understand that the smut hunters want to raise a howl over you – canaille! – a week ago last Saturday Schall called to see me – told me about America. Today I have a parcel of books from Jane Burr – read the Glorious Hope –Humanly, what a horror of a place your U.S. seems – sends ice to my heart – Quoi faire! I swear people are no longer people, over there with you – sort of stalking emotional demons. You no doubt are a Jew – capable of the eternal detachment of judgment – connoisseurs of the universe, the Jews – even connoisseurs of human life – dealers of fine arts and treasures – dealers – you might just tell me what you really think of the US …………..also I sent the novel Women in Love a sort of sequel to The Rainbow, to some other New York people who asked to see it (Scott and Seltzer) – presumed you were not keen on it – you must have seen the MS….I might possibly go to Italy for the winter – for health… Good luck to you , D H Lawrence”.

October 1919

On 1 October 1919 Lawrence wrote a short note to his friend Kot (S.S..Koteliansky) Katherine Mansfield, the great New Zealand writer who had gone to San Remo on the Italian Riviera, also for her health. She suffered from tuberculosis and in fact died 4 years later. Lawrence knew her well and in his note makes a joke in rather poor taste by writing “let us hope the insects will bite Katherine to death”.

On 2 October 1919 a strong letter went to Martin Secker, who had written to Koteliansky offering £20 (£1,000 today) for all rights for the Shestov translation, on which Lawrence had collaborated “Truly, if for all the work we have done £20 is the beginning and the end, best have sat still.. Let me know if you really want to have the book. If you aren’t keen on it, send me the MS back here, and I’ll go elsewhere with it.” Secker had made an earlier offer of 10% royalties up front and the balance on sales and was told that he could publish on those terms.

On 4 October 1919, Lawrence wrote again to Kot ….”I laughed at your fury with Secker. Didn’t you know he was scurvy little swine? They are all like that. Pah! – I wrote to him your terms – told him he could make the agreement with me – was quite plain to him: showed him what I thought of him…”

Secker clearly capitulated because on 6 October 1919 Lawrence wrote to Kot as follows “My dear Kot, I send you Secker’s letter and agreement. The world of business is never decent – It lies and lies and lies again – by now I am callous to it.

You will see the agreement is made with me – I suppose you don’t care – I don’t. Oh Lord, it is hard to imagine the pitch to which I don’t care. I’m always having to kick myself into making an effort for my own rights – I don’t care for Secker’s ‘America’ clause – why should he have 1/3 if we arrange rights? – and 10% of sheets sold won’t do – no. What do you think of this? Anyhow, I so insisted that Secker should return me the MS, if he wasn’t keen on publishing it, that he must go ahead now. DHL”.

Secker clearly indicated that he would publish because there is then further correspondence between Secker, DHL and Koteliansky with the parties exchanging the signed agreement. Finally DHL asks Koteliansky to keep the agreement on his behalf as “I am so careless”.

On 10 October 1919. Lawrence wrote from Chapel Farm Cottage to Benjamin Huebsch in the USA. “Dear Huebsch, I am sending you today the Studies in Classic American Literature. As I said before, if you find it better not to publish Whitman, leave it out altogether. I include four little essays on Democracy, which I expect will come out in that little weekly International paper The Word – published at the Hague – You could, if you liked, include these instead of Whitman, or as well as Whitman – as you like.

I gather that you feel me a risky venture just now. Why not get some monthly, like the Atlantic, to publish the Dana and Melville essays? Mr Schaff said he had personal acquaintance with the editor, and would put the thing before him. If you could get some of the essays in respectable sound periodicals, I’m sure it would help my reputation immensely, and simplify your job. Somebody might do the Democracy essays. I am not sending them out in England just yet.

Well, good luck to you. Remember what I say about these American Essays: don’t publish them, don’t bother with them, just send them me back, if you feel doubtful.

My wife has got passport etc for Germany – her people are German – and is just about to set off. I think I shall go to Italy – perhaps spend the winter with Compton Mackenzie on Capri, Anyhow I shall let you know, D H Lawrence”.

Lawrence then went to stay for few days with Catherine Carswell at Holly Bush House, Holly Mount, Hampstead NW3 but he was back at Chapel Hill Cottage by 16 October 1919, when he wrote to Martin Secker “Dear Secker, I have just sent off to America the completed MS of my Studies in Classic American Literature. It makes a book of about 80,000 words, I believe – I don’t want to send it to Pinker –feel tender about having it displayed before promiscuous publishers – Do you think you might do it? D H Lawrence”.

On 30 October 1919 he wrote to Catherine Carswell “My dear Catherine, I am preparing to go to Italy – selling my books in Reading. I thought you and Don would like the De Quincey. When you are well off you can have him rebound, and he will look nice. He is a very nice man – I can go on reading and reading him. I laughed over Goethe yesterday. I like De Quincey because he also dislikes such people as Plato and Goethe, whom I dislike.

I went to the Midlands last week: my sister frail and seedy, but getting better. I’ve been stuck indoors with a cold this week.

I wonder if you would hate writing to your cousin in Rome to ask if she could find me a very simple room in Rome for a few days. I am going to Caserta, near Naples – hear of a farm there. I don’t seem to be able to get a ship, so I shall go by land.

I shall come to London on Monday, most probably stay with Koteliansky: shall ring you up an come and see you. Do hope you are well: such awful weather – Frieda arrived in Baden. DHL”.

November 1919

He stayed at Chapel Hill Cottage until 2 November 1919 as witness letters to Martin Secker, S.S. Koteliansky; Thomas Seltzer and Benjamin Huebsch, mainly concerning publication of his novel Women in Love, which was with Selzer in New York, but which he asked to be returned to Martin Secker if Selzer was not going to publish.

From Hermitage he went for a few days to friends at 5, Acacia Road, St John’s Wood, NW8 from where he wrote and asked Norman Douglas, the writer, to get him a cheap room somewhere in Florence and to leave a note at Cook’s as to where it was. Then he left Hermitage, never to return.

In the following 10 years, Lawrence and Frieda led a somewhat peripatetic existence, travelling the world while Lawrence continued to write. Only on three occasions did he visit his homeland.

In 1919 after starting in Florence, they moved to Capri, no doubt assisted by Compton Mackenzie.

1920

But in 1920 they moved on to Taormina in Sicily, where Lawrence wrote The Lost Girl. As already mentioned he visited Florence during 1920, where Rosalind Baynes had moved after the break-down of her marriage and the two had a brief affair.

1921

In 1921 Lawrence and Frieda visited Sardinia, where he wrote Sea and Sardinia and finished Aaron’s Rod. 1922 saw the pair on a world tour, starting in Ceylon, as it then was (now Sri Lanka); on to Australia, where he wrote Kangaroo in 6 weeks; the South Sea islands, California and eventually they ended their travels in Taos, New Mexico.

Taos is a small town on the New Mexico plateau, standing 7,000 feet above sea level. The surrounding mountains rise to 13,000 feet, and nowadays Taos is a winter ski resort. An American heiress Mabel Dodge Sterne (1879-1962) of the car family and an admirer of Lawrence had invited Lawrence and Frieda to stay with her at Taos. The rarefied air was good for Lawrence’s health but they did not want to be beholden to Mabel Sterne, so they started renting rooms. Wanting to keep them in Taos, Mabel Sterne then bought back from her son the Del Monte ranch and offered it to Frieda. Lawrence agreed that Frieda could accept the gift but not wanting charity, then gave the manuscript of Sons and Lovers to Mabel. Frieda lived at the Del Monte ranch until her death in 1956 and is buried there along with Lawrence’s ashes, though it is said that Captain Angelo Ravagli, Frieda’s lover and later husband, who was tasked with  rescuing the ashes from Vence in France, disposed of them en route to avoid customs problems, though nothing was said to Frieda. On her death, Frieda bequeathed the property to the University of New Mexico but it is only open to the public once day a week – unfortunately not the day the writer visited.

1923

In 1923 the Lawrences travelled to Chapala in Mexico, where Lawrence wrote Quetzalcoatl later re-worked and retitled as The Plumed Serpent. But on returning to Taos the Lawrences quarrelled so severely that Frieda returned to Europe in August. Lawrence renewed his travels around the USA and Mexico but by December he too was back in England.

1924

In 1924 the Lawrences reconciled and at a dinner in the Café Royal, Lawrence invited all his friends to join him in Taos to create a new society, according to Lawrentian ideals i.e – the first law is that are no laws and secondly that all men and women shall have the right to have food, shelter, knowledge and the right to mate freely. To Lawrence’s bitter disappointment all his friends bar one declined the invitation. The one acceptance came from the painter Dorothy Brett, the daughter of Viscount Esher, who accompanied the Lawrences to the Del Monte ranch and eventually ended her days there, dying in 1977 at the venerable age of 94.

During 1924 Lawrence suffered his first bronchial haemorrhage but he continued writing – St Mawr, The Woman who rode away and the Princess. In October the Lawrences and Dorothy Brett moved to Oaxaca in Mexico, where he started the Plumed Serpent and wrote Mornings in Mexico

Photo of Dorothy Brett

1925

Lawrence’s health deteriorated in 1925 and in February he almost died of typhoid and pneumonia. The following month he was diagnosed as suffering from tuberculosis. He returned to Taos to recuperate but in spite of his severe health problems Lawrence continued to write – David and Reflections on the death of a Porcupine. In September the Lawrences returned to Europe, spending a month in England before moving on to Spotorno in Italy, where Lawrence wrote the first version of Sun and Frieda met Captain Angelo Ravagli. Lawrence never returned to Taos.

1926

In 1926 another major quarrel arose between the Lawrences and during the rift Lawrence found solace in the arms of Dorothy Brett. But another reconciliation followed and the Lawrences then moved to the Villa Mirenda near Florence and then in the late summer Lawrence paid his last visit to England. During the first part of the year he wrote The Virgin and the Gypsy and on returning to Italy in October he wrote his first version of Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

1927 to 1935

In 1927 the Lawrences remained at the Villa Mirenda and Lawrence worked on Lady Chatterley’s Lover for most of the year. It was finished in 1928 but Lawrence then had to fight many battles to even get copies to British and American subscribers.

By the end of 1928 pirated copies were being sold in Europe and the USA but legal obstacles prevented normal publication for many years. When Penguin Books brought out a paper edition in 1960, they were prosecuted unsuccessfully under the Obscene Publications Act 1959, the case being best remembered now for prosecutor Mervyn Griffiths-Jones’ remark to the Jury “Would you let your servant read this book?”

During 1927 and 1928 Lawrence also wrote The Escaped Cock. In 1928 the Lawrences visited Switzerland (Gsteig) and the island of Port Cros, before settling in Bandol in the south of France, a seaside town lying between Marseilles and Toulon.

During 1929 he visited Paris to try and arrange a cheap edition of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. But the work had made him notorious and he was attracting police interest. The manuscript of his book of poems entitled Pansies was seized by the police in Paris, while the police in London raided his exhibition of paintings. Lawrence was mortified as he always regarded himself a moral writer, and resented the charge that he was peddling obscenity.

During 1929 the Lawrences visited Majorca, France and Bavaria, before returning to Bandol for the winter. In spite of all his troubles with the authorities and his declining health, Lawrence still found time to write – NettlesApocalypse and Last Poems.

1930 saw a further decline in his health and at the start of February he was admitted to the Ad Astra Sanatorium in Vence, France, which lies in the hills north-west of Nice. He discharged himself on 1 March and was taken up the hill to the nearby Villa Robermond in Vence, where he died the following day, aged 44. He was buried in Old Vence cemetery, until in March 1935 he was exhumed and his body cremated at Marseilles. Captain Antonio Ravagli, Frieda’s lover, who was tasked with taking his ashes to Taos later confessed to friends that he had disposed of the ashes outside Marseilles and had replaced them with ordinary ashes in the USA. Unaware of this Frieda had the ashes she was given concreted into the surrounds of a shrine to Lawrence that she had built at the Del Monte ranch. She took this extraordinary action in the belief that Lawrence’s ashes might be stolen by an admirer.

Tomb at Kiowa

Lawrence’s literary reputation has waxed and waned over the years. He was undoubtedly an outsider, who identified more with primitive peoples than his contemporaries. He admired the artistic Etruscans and Minoans rather than the war-like Romans and Greeks. He admired the Hopi Indians of New Mexico and wrote that New Mexico was the greatest experience from the outside he had ever had and curious as it might sound New Mexico had liberated him from the present era of civilization and the great era of material and mechanical development. His attitude to the First World War was not such as to endear him to his contemporaries either. Marriage to a German national posed obvious problems but that apart he did his best to exclude the War from his life and eschewed any patriotic feelings.

Some critics see Lawrence as a bad-tempered misanthrope and phallus-fixated. He undoubtedly lacked the social graces and could be mean-spirited, as witness his treatment of Mrs Radford senior and then Mr Radford. But in his defence it could be argued that he had had his own code of beliefs and lived according to them. He believed in sexual liberation for both men and women and while he and Frieda had a tempestuous marriage, the arguments were never about the affairs they had with third parties.

His literary output has undoubtedly been over-shadowed to some extent by the notoriety over Lady Chatterley’s Lover, which was intense back in the 50’s and 60’s. Nowadays society wonders what all the fuss was about. But setting that aside, the range and volume of his work was prodigious and he has the ability of all great story tellers to hold the reader’s attention from beginning to end. One also has to admire the way he persevered with his writing, in such hand to mouth circumstances. He also had a magnetic personality. Most of those who came within his orbit were hooked and with only a handful of exceptions, once he made a friend he had him or her for life. But there were limits to his influence, given that he failed to persuade his friends, apart from Dorothy Brett, to join him in Taos. His wife Frieda was the best example of the hold he exerted. Older than Lawrence, married with 3 children, once she met him, she left her husband and children and a life of middle-class comfort and moved in with Lawrence to face a life of poverty and hardship. In spite of the frequent rows and infrequent infidelities, the marriage endured and there is no doubt that without Frieda’s support and backing Lawrence could never have achieved half of what he did achieve.

What did he achieve? His contemporaries were writers such as Aldous Huxley, who was with him at his demise; H G Wells, Compton Mackenzie; Katherine Mansfield. Their works such as Brave New World, The War of the Worlds and Whisky Galore endure but Lawrence has three works, which are household names in Sons and Lovers, Women in Love and of course Lady Chatterley’s Lover. He certainly ranks as one, if not the most eminent, of early 20th century British novelists.

Clive Williams

Clive Williams attended Cardiff High School, served on active service in Cyprus with the Welch Regiment as a National Serviceman and then read law at Queens’ College, Cambridge. He qualified as a solicitor and then clerked numerous public bodies, all of whom were then abolished: e.g Berkshire County Council; Thames Valley Police Authority, Berkshire Magistrates Authority. 

He has written and self-published several local history books about Basildon, where he has lived for almost 50 years, about the East India Company The Nabobs of Berkshire and life at Shire Hall, You’ll be a teacher over my dead body. He is currently working on a book about the Craven family of Hamstead Marshall, He has always been active in charity work and was awarded the OBE in 1998 for services to the community of Berkshire.

Photo Credit: Thames & Hudson, Ltd for permission to reproduce photos from D.H. Lawrence by Harry T Moore and Warren Roberts.

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