Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Lawrence mss. II, 1920-1924, consist of letters and cards from David Herbert Lawrence, 1885-1930, novelist, to Robert Mountsier, 1888-1972, editor. They cover the period of time, and just afterward, that Mountsier acted as Lawrence's agent in America. Several of the letters describe his relationship with, and opinions of, various American and English publishers, particularly Benjamin W. Huebsch, Martin Secker, and Thomas Seltzer.

The letters begin the year before Lawrence left England for Italy, and eventually the United States. He thus writes from England, Italy, Germany, Ceylon, Australia, New Zealand, San Francisco, and Taos, New Mexico. Many of the letters in late 1922 mention Mabel Dodge Luhan and his feelings about living with her generosity but "smothering" attentions.

There are also two letter from Frieda (von Richthofen) Lawrence to Mountsier, written on the versos of her husband's letters. Other correspondents present are Robert Mountsier, Giuseppe Prezzolini, Martin Secker, and Thomas Seltzer.

Early in 1923 Lawrence decided to break with Mountsier, apparently after a lengthy visit by Mountsier in Taos. Thus the last twenty letters or so in the collection deal with tying up their business together, including any continuing commissions for Mountsier and Lawrence's 1922 tax reports.

Heretofore unpublished, many of the letters will be in the Collected Letters of D.H. Lawrence, Cambridge edition, volumes 4 and 5.

Collection size: 153 items

Related manuscripts: Lawrence mss.

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.