Obscenity trial judge’s copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover to be sold

Edition of DH Lawrence novel used by Sir Lawrence Byrne in presiding over the landmark prosecution will be auctioned in October

A copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover used by the judge who presided over the novel’s 1960 obscenity trial, complete with annotations from his wife noting where DH Lawrence descended to writing about “love making”, is set to be auctioned this autumn, for the first time in 25 years.

The 1960 trial saw Penguin Books prosecuted for publishing the unexpurgated text of Lawrence’s novel. It was a test case for the Obscene Publications Act 1959, which ruled that a work was obscene if its effect “is, if taken as a whole, such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons”.

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