‘Owen agrees with Anthony Burgess and Aldous Huxley that Lawrence served English literature and himself all the better for staying away from England. Gracefully, he portrays the Riviera and warmth of Italian society in which Lawrence was slowly resurrected and enabled to write.’
‘The former Rome correspondent of The Times reconstructs the drama leading to the creation of one of history’s most controversial novels and explores DH Lawrence’s passion for all things Italian.’
‘Beautifully produced … This is a story of friendships and a valuable portrait of a great writer at work.’
‘Despite the many books and articles that have been written about Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Owen’s Villa makes an original and fresh contribution.’
Journal of D H Lawrence Studies
November 1925: In search of health and sun, DH Lawrence arrives on the Italian Riviera with his wife, Frieda, and is exhilarated by the view of the sparkling Mediterranean from his rented villa. But over the next six months, Frieda will become fatally attracted to their landlord, a dashing Italian army officer, and Lawrence will write two stories prefiguring Lady Chatterley’s Lover: Sun and The Virgin and the Gypsy, both tales of women drawn to earthy, muscular men. Drawing for the first time on the unpublished letters and diaries of Rina Secker, the Anglo-Italian wife of Lawrence’s publisher, Owen reconstructs the drama leading up to the creation of one of the most controversial novels of all time, and explores DH Lawrence’s passion for all things Italian.
Richard Owen was The Times Rome correspondent for fifteen years. He was previously the paper’s correspondent in Moscow, Brussels, and Jerusalem. Owen has written several works of non-fiction, including Crisis in the Kremlin and, with Haus, DH Lawrence in Italy, Hemingway in Italy, and Chaucer’s Italy.