The story of the ‘Lovers’ and the result

I am sorry this is a day late – I should have posted it yesterday but I forgot!!

In 1960 Penguin Books wanted to publish a particular novel but when they tried to publish it in a new, uncut, version, an attempt was made to prosecute them for obscenity.  In the trial the Jurors were asked if ‘this was a book that they would allow their wives or servants to read’!  The book in question was ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’.  The novel by D H Lawrence, had was been published in Italy in 1928 – but the unedited version was banned in England.

One side had considered that the description of the relationship between Lady Chatterley and the gamekeeper was to be too explicit while the other considered that is was unfair in as much that these elements of the story were tame compared with things currently published in magazines, books and TV.

It was on Tuesday 2nd November 1960 that the 12 members of that English jury voted unanimously that was NOT obscene.  The judge said that the language used in it had literary merit.

In 1961 Penguin published a second edition that contained a publisher’s dedication, which reads: “For having published this book, Penguin Books was prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act, 1959 at the Old Bailey in London from 20th October to 2nd November 1960. This edition is therefore dedicated to the twelve jurors, three women and nine men, who returned a verdict of ‘not guilty’ and thus made D. H. Lawrence’s last novel available for the first time to the public in the United Kingdom”.


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