F. R. Leavis influentially labelled the writer 'D. H. Lawrence: Novelist'. But this book foregrounds Lawrence's career as a playwright, exploring unfamiliar contexts and manuscripts, and drawing particular attention to his three most successful works: The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd, The Daughter-in-Law, and A Collier's Friday Night. It examines how Lawrence's novels are suffused with theatrical thinking, revealing how Lawrence's fictions – from his first published work to the last story that he wrote before his death – continually take inspiration from the playhouse.
The book also argues that, although Lawrence has sometimes been dismissed as a restrictively naturalistic stage writer, his overall oeuvre shows a consistent concern with theatrical experiment, and manifests affinities with the dramatic thinking of modernist figures including Brecht, Artaud, and Joyce. In a final section, the book includes contributions from influential theatre-makers who have taken their own cue from Lawrence's work, and who have created original work that consciously follows Lawrence in making working-class life central to the public forum of the theatre stage.
eBook The Theatre of D.H. Lawrence