LAWRENCE, David Herbert. Lady Chatterley's Lover. Including my Skrimish with Jolly Roger. Written Especially and Exclusively as an Introduction to this Popular Edition. Paris: Privately Printed, 1929.
8o. Original pictorial wrappers (portion of front wrapper missing, light wear to spine); contemporary red quarter morocco chemise and marbled board slipcase. Provenance: Edward W. Titus (presentation inscription).
Second edition, the author's unabridged popular edition. PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY LAWRENCE TO THE PUBLISHER: "To Edward W. Titus from D.H. Lawrence this first copy of our Lady of Paris. Forte die Marmi. 26 June 1929.
LAWRENCE, D.H. Typed letter signed ("D.H. Lawrence") to Mr. Titus. Paris, April 5, 1929. One leaf. With one autograph correction, changing "partnership" to "connection." This letter served as the original contract between Lawrence and the expatriate publisher Edward Titus.
Lady Chatterley's Lover, because of its sexually explicit material, encountered an intricate web of publication maneuvering. After agreeing to print the novel with his Florentine friend Orioli, Lawrence then wavered on his decision: He wrote to Nancy Pearn, his agent, "Tell [Martin] Secker not to do anything about Lady Chatterley's Lover. I must go over it again--and am really not shure if I shall publish it-- at least this year. And I think it is utterly unfit for serializing-- they would call it indecent--though really, it's most decent." Lawrence was tortured by his feeling that the book was "tender" and "pure" and his suspicion that the majority of his audience would think it pornographic.
He told Pearn: "I am in quandary about my novel. It's what the world would call very improper. But you know it's not really improper--I always labour at the same thing, to make the sex relation vivid and precious, instead of shameful... To me it is beautiful and tender and frail as the naked self is--and I shrink very much from having it typed. Probably the typist would want to interfere."
WITH LAWRENCE'S CONTRACT WITH TITUS: The letter included here, written from the Hotel de Versailles in Paris, details Lawrence's arrangement with Titus, the Parisian publisher of Lady Chatterley's Lover. The letter reads as follows:
"You [Titus] agree to publish an edition of three thousand copies of the book. The cost price of this edition shall not exceed twelve francs (12 frs) a copy. The cost of production shall be divided equally between you and me. All invoices for plates, printing, paper, binding etc shall be made in duplicate and a copy sent to me. You may call on me for my share in the cost of production should the necessity arise. The retail price of the book is to be sixty francs (60 frs) a copy. This price is to be printed on the cover. The discount to the trade shall be one third the retail price. Profits are to be divided between us in the proportion of eight francs (8 frs) to me, seven francs (7 frs) to you. Statement to be rendered and settlement made every three months."
The letter continues in this vein. A loosely inserted printed notice from the publisher explains the need for the elaborate price control and printing directions: "Since the issue of the one thousand copies of the first privately printed edition of Mr. D.H. Lawrence's masterpiece in poetic prose, Lady Chatterley's Lover, four pirated reprints of the novel have emerged from obscure quarters. These products of larceny and plunder have been and are still selling at prices higher than the original author's issue, the price of the which was 250 Francs, - are selling, in fact, anywhere up to 500 Francs, and more." Roberts A42c. A VERY FINE ASSOCIATION COPY, ACCOMPANIED BY LAWRENCE'S CONTRACT. (2)