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ELT 38:4 1995 anee in both perspective and proportion. There is a kind of random approach to historical events and the Shaw canon and a tendency to quote from critics hostile to Shaw's work (e.g., Beatrice Webb, Germaine Greer). The commentary on Shaw's feminism uses "feminize" as synonymous with "emasculate" and "infantilize" (Davis, 117), while at the same time protesting against Shaw's "puny commentaries on sex, not gender, ... [which avoid] the cultural constructions of difference" (145). Finally, the book contains two significant errors in fact. Shaw was not a "staunch opponent of capital punishment," as Davis asserts (135); he saw imprisonment as a crime against human rights but argued that killing people "unable to restrain their violent or acquisitive impulses" was "quite reasonable and very necessary" (Preface to On the Rocks). And he did not die at ninety-six (Davis, 144) but at ninety-four. Elsie B. Adams, Emeritus ______________ San Diego State University Days & Nights with Lawrence BrendaMaddox. D. H. Lawrence: The Story of aMarriage. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994. 620 pp. $30.00 Peter Preston. A D. H. Lawrence Chronology. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994. xxi + 208pp. $45.00 BRENDA MADDOX'S handsome and spunky biography is an important success as a sympathetic reintroduction of D. H. Lawrence to a broad general audience. Her basic premise, that Lawrence's marriage encompassed the whole of his creative life, is with a bit of stretching a sound one. Whether his marriage is the proper and ultimate crux of his written work remains debatable, but Lawrence studies certainly can take no harm from such a debate. Documenting from the first of the marriage to the last the daily precariousness of Lawrence's health, Maddox establishes Frieda Lawrence's indispensability to his creaturely existence, and clears her of charges that her behavior hastened rather than postponed his early death. We learn most of everything our culture has forgotten, and may need to releam, about the phenomenology and folklore of tuberculosis. We are brought up to date on new evidence concerning Lawrence's sole successful adulterous interlude and his several ambiguous homoerotic liaisons. We also get full details on Frieda's complete and demanding outrageousness —a hair-trigger temper the rival of Lawrence's own, and a sexual drive that raised an habitual exercise of infidelity beyond marital 542 BOOK REVIEWS retort to an existential principle. I think Maddox's intuition is surely right, that the best immediate argument against both Lawrence's masculinist pronouncements and his feminist detractors is the spectacle of his hard-fought and hard-won marriage. Frieda herself, animated by magnificent defiance of as well as unshakable devotion to Lawrence's dicta, makes a delightful mockery of Lawrence's many obtuse gender prescriptions. At the same time, she personifies much of what deserves to abide—the libertarian streak of ecological relatedness—in Lawrence's philosophy. Maddox is excellent at reconstructing scenes such as those of Lawrence's life in Croydon with the Jones family, whose mischievous daughters were the subjects of a series of early poems. Specific and vivid biographical context of this sort is always useful to establish a stable starting point for critical reading. Beginning her narrative with Lawrence as a bachelor and board-school teacher in suburban-London digs with a petty-bourgeois family, Maddox nicely finesses Lawrence's Eastwood upbringing, the stifling milieu of Lydia Lawrence's frustrations , the hurt feelings of the outgrown girlfriend, Jessie Chambers, and other topics well-covered in John Worthen's 1991 Cambridge volume D. H. Lawrence: The Early Years 1885-1912. At the other end of the chronology, Maddox is superb in recreating the New Mexican domestic atmosphere out of which several of his most troubling stories emerged, including the 1924 misogynist classic The Woman Who Rode Away," and in balancing the ratio of sexual-political affront to aesthetic achievement in such works. "In allying himself with German aristocracy," Maddox writes, "Lawrence was, anthropologically speaking, marrying not only up, but out. Exogamy is a major theme in all his writings." This fine insight may be coupled with Leonard Barkan's comment in The Gods Made Flesh— "metamorphosis is a figure for all...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 542-546
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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