Lady Chatterley's Lover Author:D H Lawrence The publication of the book caused a scandal due to its explicit sex scenes, including previously banned four-letter words and perhaps because the lovers were a working-class male and an aristocratic female. — The story concerns a young married woman, Constance (Lady Chatterley), whose upper-class husband, Clifford Chatterley, has been paralyzed ... more »and rendered impotent. Her sexual frustration leads her into an affair with the gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors. This novel is about Constance's realization that she cannot live with the mind alone; she must also be alive physically.The story is said to have originated from events in Lawrence's own unhappy domestic life, and he took inspiration for the settings of the book from Ilkeston in Derbyshire where he lived for a while. According to some critics, the fling of Lady Ottoline Morrell with "Tiger", a young stonemason who came to carve plinths for her garden statues, also influenced the story. When it was published in Britain in 1960, the trial of the publishers, Penguin Books, under the Obscene Publications Act of 1959 was a major public event and a test of the new obscenity law. The 1959 act (introduced by Roy Jenkins) had made it possible for publishers to escape conviction if they could show that a work was of literary merit. One of the objections was to the frequent use of the word "f*ck" and its derivatives.
Various academic critics including E. M. Forster, Helen Gardner, Richard Hoggart, Raymond Williams and Norman St John-Stevas were called as witnesses, and the verdict, delivered on 2 November 1960, was "not guilty". This resulted in a far greater degree of freedom for publishing explicit material in the UK. The prosecution was ridiculed for being out of touch with changing social norms when the chief prosecutor, Mervyn Griffith-Jones, asked if it were the kind of book "you would wish your wife or servants to read".« less