‘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 Times
‘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.’ – Sunday Telegraph
‘Beautifully produced… This is a story of friendships and a valuable portrait of a great writer at work.’
– Country Life
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, set amid olives and vines. 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 Drawing for the first time on the unpublished letters and diaries of Rina Secker, the Anglo-Italian wife of Lawrence’s publisher, Owen reconstructs the drama leading up to the creation of one of the most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, tracking his path to the Riviera from Lake Garda to Lerici, Abruzzo, Capri, Sicily and Sardinia.
RICHARD OWEN was The Times correspondent for 15 years. He was previously the paper’s correspondent in Moscow, Brussels and Jerusalem, and also served as Foreign Editor. Owen has written several works of non-fiction, including Crisis in the Kremlin: Soviet Succession and the Rise of Gorbachov, and Letter from Moscow.