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Friday, 21 March 2014

Well Read

Nottingham is famous for three writers; Lord Byron, DH Lawrence and Alan Sillitoe. A big poster has recently gone up close to the railway station promoting this fact.

Lord Byron was a well known poet of the day. He was born in 1788 and died in 1824. They say he was mad, bad and dangerous to know, being a womaniser having huge debts and instigating a self imposed exile. He lived at Newstead Abbey, which is now a crumbling ruin, and a place that I haven't visited yet.

DH Lawrence was born in Eastwood in 1885, the son of a coal miner. His most famous novel is Lady Chatterley's Lover. There was quite an outcry in 1960 when Penguin published a paperback version of the novel, and a court trial began under the Obscene Publications Act, as the novel contains various swearwords , that might be common place now, but back then were very shocking.

Finally Alan Sillitoe, the most contemporary of the writers. The former Raleigh factory worker wrote of course Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, the story of a hard drinking and womanising Raleigh worker. I don't think it was autobiographical. He also wrote the Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, which concerned the life of a Borstal Boy.