Another innovation which has completely altered the university teaching of English in the recent past is the RAE and the consequent pressure on teachers to publish. Ellis describes here his early publications and how and why he was asked to write the third volume of the Cambridge biography of D. H. Lawrence. He speculates that Leavis would not have disapproved of biographical enquiry itself but have disliked, and perhaps intensely, two aspects of that third volume. One is its willingness to recognise unevenesses in Lawrence's work which in Leavis's later writings are regarded as altogether unimportant in comparison with his achievements; and the other its tendency to characterise as willed optimism that faith in creative power, or ‘life’, which for Leavis made Lawrence the natural successor of Blake.
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