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Sons and Lovers: The Biography of a Novel$
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Neil Roberts

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781942954187

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781942954187.001.0001

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‘The death-blow to our friendship’, ‘Paul Morel III’, February–June 1912

‘The death-blow to our friendship’, ‘Paul Morel III’, February–June 1912

(p.97) 6 ‘The death-blow to our friendship’, ‘Paul Morel III’, February–June 1912
Sons and Lovers: The Biography of a Novel

Neil Roberts

Liverpool University Press

Lawrence wrote the third draft between November 1911 and April 1912. Jessie was initially delighted by the realism with which Lawrence rendered working-class family life. Lawrence made use of her reminiscences for some of the most powerful episodes in the novel. For Jessie, the problems began with the portrayal of Miriam. She protested that Lawrence had omitted her devotion to the development of his literary genius, which effectively tore the heart out of their relationship. Her second objection was that Lawrence pre-dated the tensions in their relationship. It was crucial to her understanding of her early life that the difficulties with Lawrence had been imposed from without. Her third complaint is that their attempt at a sexual relationship, which to her represented a sacred bond, is portrayed as a 'test' which Miriam failed. Jessie made detailed annotations to Chapter Seven, which have survived. and wrote three further scenarios which, unlike her earlier ones, have also survived. The breach between Lawrence and Jessie, already severe because of her reaction to the third draft, was made final by his falling in love, during this period, with Frieda Weekley. He and Frieda left England in May. He and Jessie never saw each other again.

Keywords:   ‘Paul Morel III’, Jessie Chambers, realism, working-class, sexual relationship

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