83. D.H. Lawrence - The Rainbow


Joining John & Andy for this episode are two returning guests: Rachael Kerr, publisher and editor, former Publicity Director of Jonathan Cape, Marketing Director of Picador and Harvill and now editor at large for Unbound, who joined us for the Charles Sprawson episode; and Catherine Taylor, writer and critic, who contributes regularly to the Financial Times, the Guardian, the Economist, the TLS, the New Statesmen & the Irish Times, and is a judge for the 2019 Republic of Consciouness Prize and commercial director for the brilliant Brixton Review of Books. Catherine last joined us to talk eloquently about Vladimir Nabokov’s The Gift. But the book they are here to talk about today is The Rainbow  by D.H. Lawrence, first published by Methuen in 1915, which with its sequel Women in Love, is widely to be considered to be Lawrence’s crowning achievement as a writer. As you would expect, the debate is vigorous: Lawrence is a writer who continues to divide readers and the four participants cover the ground from qualified enthusiasm to sympathetic scepticism.

On New Year’s Day we asked our Twitter followers for any outstanding ‘old’ books they had read in 2018 and would like to recommend. We were overwhelmed by the response: 137 titles were recommended - many of which we had never heard of before - so we’ve decided to publish the full list (title, author and the Twitter handle of the person who recommended it) as useful reference. It’s pasted directly below the Soundcloud link.

Books mentioned:

Henry Green - Doting
Sarah Perry - Melmoth
John Higgs - Watling Street
Eric Karpeles - Paintings in Proust: A Visual Companion to ‘In Search of Lost Time’
Michael Diamond & Adam Horowitz - Beastie Boys Book
Robert Burton - The Anatomy of Melancholy
D.H. Lawrence - The Rainbow; Women in Love; Lady Chatterley’s Lover; Studies in Classic American Literature; The Complete Poems
Geoff Dyer - Out of Sheer Rage
Helen Dunmore - Zennor in Darkness
F.R. Leavis - D.H. Lawrence, Novelist
Raymond Williams - The English Novel from Dickens to Lawrence
Kate Millett - Sexual Politics
John Carey - The Intellectuals & the Masses
Philip Larkin - Selected Letters 1940-1985

Other links:

Jack Nicholson’s toast to D.H. Lawrence in Easy Rider
Anthony Burgess on The South Bank Show (1985)
Aldous Huxley on his friendship with Lawrence in 196

‘Old’ Books Recommended by Backlisted’s Twitter Followers in 2018:

Gone to Earth- Mary Webb @davidjamesevans
National Velvet- Enid Bagnold @camdenksb
Family Lexicon- Natalia Ginzburg @tiziana_z
A Jest of God- Margaret Laurence @smithben
The Queen of the Tambourine- Jane Gardam @smithben @blogmywiki
Slipstream: A Memoir- Elizabeth Jane Howard @nerichardson
Palladian- Elizabeth Taylor @LizBasile6
That They May Face the Rising Sun- John McGahern @clarehuggett
Narrow Boat– L.T.C. Rolt @HisSingingViola
Angel- Elizabeth Taylor @cindyfried
A Portrait of a Lady- Henry James @cindyfried
My Àntonia- Willa Cather @cindyfried
Bid Me to Live- H.D. @Lokster71
They Were Sisters- Dorothy Whipple @marytmulligan1 @A_CherryWriter
True Grit- Charles Portis @Vitrarius
The House of Broken Angels- Luís Alberto Urrea @trottthoughts
Cassandra at the Wedding- Dorothy Baker @stuck_inabook
Stoner- John Edward Williams @MarkVent
The Wall- Marlen Haushofer (tr. Shaun Whiteside) @ClaireFuller2
Anna Kavan @ANMudd
The Spare Room- Helen Garner @lizinwales
Kingdoms of Elfin- Sylvia Townsend Warner @desperatereader
Mythago Wood- Robert Holdstock @GreenCorrie
Excellent Women- Barbara Pym @mllesrot
Patricia Brent, Spinster- Herbert Jenkins @stuck_inabook
Rogue Male- Geoffrey Household @mrstrfusis
The End of the Affair- Graham Greene  @mrstrfusis
The Far Pavilions- M.M.Kaye  @mrstrfusis
Middlemarch- George Eliot  @mrstrfusis
Zuleika Dobson- Max Beerbohm  @mrstrfusis
Train Dreams- Denis Johnson @WillGore
So the Wind Won't Blow it All Away– Richard Brautigan @WillGore
The Dragon Slayer- Rosemary Sutcliff @SimonGuy64
Precious Bane- Mary Webb @JoBrowningWroe
Stig of the Dump- Clive King @piedwarbler1
A Quartet in Autumn- Barbara Pym @Steviebab @Jacquiek111
A Burnt-Out Case- Graham Greene @Steviebab
The Little Madeleine- Mrs Robert Henry @FoodwiseWomen
The Loved One- Evelyn Waugh @Schoolbookclubs
The Ice Palace- Tarjei Vesaas (tr. Elizabeth Rokkan) @squarecorners
Ice- Anna Kavan @FarSouthProject
School For Love- Olivia Manning @janefd
Theatre - W. Somerset Maugham @MsPGraceMiles
The L-Shaped Room- Lynne Reid Banks @urban_formation
Just William- Richmal Crompton @RyeLimit
William Trevor @BrabazonColin
Thunder and Lightnings- Jan Mark @BrabazonColin
South Riding- Winifred Holtby @moonlight_reads
Living Alone- Stella Benson @lgc27
A Short History of a Small Place- T. R. Pearson @andrewlake
The Devil's Candy- Julie Salamon @will_leitch
The Long Ships- Frans G. Bengtsson @WolfandRhys
In a Summer Season- Elizabeth Taylor @lgc27
Sleepless Nights- Elizabeth Hardwick @MizJoanna
The Boarding-House- William Trevor @JacquiWine
The Grass- Claude Simon @DentataHeritage
L'Assommoir- Emile Zola @Helannsta
Cosmicomics- Italo Calvino @For_the_Wynn
The Bastable Novels- E. Nesbit @oddbohemian
The Journal of a Disappointed Man- W.N.P. Barbellion @Matthew__Adams
Persuasion- Jane Austen @JanetEmson
The Man with the Golden Arm- Nelson Algren @ian_peddie
The Diary of a Provincial Lady- E.M. Delafield @LevParikian
The Bridge of Beyond- Simone Schwarz-Bart @JoelPinckney
Of Human Bondage- W.Someset Maugham @TheHumanKakapo
Act One- Moss Hart @tottaylor1
Act Two- Kitty Carlisle Hart @tottaylor1
I Capture the Castle- Dodie Smith @RobinMuir1
Mrs Eckdorf in O’Neill’s Hotel- William Trevor @mumthrax
Wise Blood- Flannery O'Connor @thegiddygambler
Eleven Kinds of Loneliness- Richard Yates @paulslr70
Reunion- Fred Uhlman  @BenMyers1
Hard Rain Falling- Don Carpenter @BenMyers1
Swords and Crowns and Rings- Ruth Park @JudyAuthor
The Levant Trilogy- Olivia Manning @Whyjay99
Lobsters on the Agenda- Naomi Mitchison @citizenveurm
Memento Mori- Muriel Spark @BeerRover
Consider The Lilies- Iain Crichton-Smith @SteveHimmer
The Humbler Creation- Pamela Hansford Johnson @CSRaphael1
A Handful of Dust- Evelyn Waugh @LondonLee62
The Kon-Tiki Expedition- Thor Heyerdahl @JillHopper1
Naples 44- Norman Lewis @ashley1thomas
Clinging to the Wreckage- John Mortimer @rcscribbler
The Hours Before Dawn- Celia Fremlin @darrenmjones
Fair Stood the Wind for France- H.E. Bates @WoodgatePaul
A Place of Greater Safety- Hilary Mantel @barbflipflop29
The War Between the Tates- Alison Lurie @nphegarty
A Confederacy of Dunces- John Kennedy Toole @cornishop
Jamaica Inn- Daphne Du Maurier @SimonOHagan
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie- Muriel Spark @boucher_clare
The Leopard - Lampedusa @RachelGrunert
My Cousin Rachel-Daphne de Maurier @ginafordthomas
What’s Not Yours is Not Yours- Helen Oyeyemi @catfarmUK
The Fashion in Shrouds- Margery Allingham @KateRLTB
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day- Winifred Watson @StephClayton5
The Eyes of the Overworld - Jack Vance @ReneKita
Titus GroanGormenghast- Mervyn Peake @colyerh
The Vet’s Daughter- Barbara Comyns   @liz_lizanderson
A Certain Smile- Françoise Sagan @MaxCairnduff
A Time of Gifts- Patrick Leigh Fermor @MrsColvey
Capital - Maureen Duffy @kerstanmac
Good Behaviour- Molly Keane @BrigidRodgers
The Great Gatsby- F. Scott Fitzgerald @lucindapreston
The Private Sector- Joseph Hone @lordcroquer
Thérèse Raquin- Emile Zola @AlwaysLearnWeb
Wives and Daughters- Elizabeth Gaskell @Karen_BooksChoc
Lud-In-The-Mist- Hope Mirrlees @lucyfishwife
Birdsong- Sebastian Faulks @KeeveMusic
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley @MargoJMilne
Collected Short Stories (Vol. 1)– W. Somerset Maugham @MatLee
The Black Prince- Iris Murdoch @Tiny_Camels
1982, Janine- Alasdair Gray @audlaza69
A Brief History Of Seven Killings- Marlon James @audlaza69
The Invention of Morel -Adolfo Casares @audlaza69
A Legacy of Spies- John le Carré @andyinfinity
Mr Norris Changes Trains- Christopher Isherwood @tann1812
Gone With the Wind- Margaret Mitchell @ThamesJackie
We Who Are About To...- Joanna Russ @annawillis101
The Door- Magda Szabó (tr.Len Rox) @Stirlingwriter
Plainsong- Kent Haruf @JulieRandles4
The Dark Is Rising- Susan Cooper  @JulieRandles4
The Go-Between- L.P. Hartley @RachelMalik99
The Quest for Corvo - A.J.A. Symons @dancall
The Bloody Chamber- Angela Carter @Gargarin
Death and the Penguin- Andrey Kurkov ( tr. George Bird) @RobinMuir1
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall- Anne Bronte @v_dodd
Sunlight on a Broken Column- Attia Hosain @Sharonmx5
The Snows of Yesteryear- Gregor von Rezzori @Sarah_Woolford
Gantenbein- Max Frisch @Navifax
Mrs Bridge- Evan S. Connell @jamesdoeser
Gaudy Night- Dorothy L. Sayers @Sarah_Woolford
The Bottle Factory Outing- Beryl Bainbridge @bookworm_north
Border Districts- Gerald Murnane @irnewton
The Priory- Dorothy Whipple @A_CherryWriter
The Haunting of Hill House- Shirley Jackson @aoifemrtn
Told by an Idiot- Rose Macaulay @ManiPillai1886
Return to Yesterday- Ford Madox Ford @blogmywik