Birth: David Herbert Richards Lawrence was born on September 11 1885, in a small house in Victoria Street, Eastwood, near Nottingham. The fourth child of a coal miner, Arthur Lawrence and Lydia (nee Beardsall). Within two weeks the child had bronchitis. It was to be a warning: 'Bert' Lawrence's lungs would plague him all his life.
School: After a false start at school at only four years of age, he was withdrawn and didn't return to the Beauvale Board School until he was seven years of age. This late start, no doubt, disadvantaged him socially, setting him apart from the other children. He had few friends of his own, preferring the company of his younger sister, Ada, and her friends. He was a good scholar, however, and became the first boy from the school to win a scholarship to Nottingham High School. It caused the family considerable hardship to allow the boy to take up this scholarship but in September 1898, three days after his thirteenth birthday Lawrence went to the High School. He took the train to Nottingham at seven in the morning and didn't reach home until evening. Now away from home for fourteen hours per day, excepting Sunday and one half day per week, working in dark and airless conditions, the frail health of the youth broke; within six months Lawrence had pneumonia.
Beginning to write: After suffering from pneumonia, he returned to school as a pupil-teacher, and he began to write. Lawrence's first published work did not get his name into print. It was a story especially written for a competition run by the Nottingham Guardian in 1907. It was called A Prelude and won a 7 pound;3rd prize. Lawrence had entered all three categories. Once in his own name, the others in friends' names; the winning entry was in his friend Jessie Chambers' name.
University: In December 1904 Lawrence took the examination for the King's Scholarship, which would guarantee him a place at Nottingham University College, where he could obtain his Teacher's Certificate. He passed - he was in the top 37 of over 2,000 candidates, but was unable to take up the position until September 1906 due to financial hardship.
Teaching and First novel: In 1908 Lawrence became a qualified teacher and took up a post at Davidson Road School, Croydon. The school had some very poor boys and it was not to be an easy introduction for the young schoolmaster. However, he was dedicated and innovative and the headmaster was pleased with his work.
In his free time Lawrence wrote. In January 1911 his first novel, The White Peacock was published, but the happiness he may have felt from this success was shadowed by the death of his mother, from cancer.
End of teaching ; beginning of new life: In November of 1911 the poor health that had plagued Lawrence all year culminated in pneumonia once again. He fought his way free of the illness but his lungs had been damaged further. The doctor told him outright that to return to teaching would be to invite tuberculosis
A German uncle suggested a plan whereby Lawrence could possibly become a Lektor in a German university. A professor of modern languages at Nottingham University, Ernest Weekley, was consulted and invited the twenty six year old Lawrence to lunch to discuss the details. Lawrence accepted the invitation and within two months was in Germany - not, however, as a Lektor but as the lover of Frieda Weekley, the thirty two year old mother of Weekley's three children.
Freida Weekley: Life was not easy for the couple. Frieda had high hopes of having her children with her, but when her husband discovered her infidelity he flatly refused her access. This trauma caused fierce arguments between the couple (their fights were to become legendary amongst their friends).
Italy: With little money they travelled, often on foot, through Germany (where Lawrence was accused of spying) and Switzerland finally renting a room at Riva in Austria, very near to the Italian border. Lawrence loved Italy, and during the journey Lawrence continued to write. He was revising what was to be ultimately regarded as one of his greatest books, Sons and Lovers. On May 1913, Sons and Lovers was published in Great Britain. It did not sell spectacularly well,