D. H. Lawrence wrote his last novel, Lady Chatterley's Lover, three times in 1926-27, and it is the third version that has become famous. The three versions are in fact three different novels, varying greatly in length, a significant number of episodes, and even some of the main characters. This is the first critical edition of the two early versions of the novel: the first in some ways the most realistic and spontaneous version, the second the longest and to many readers and critics the most successful version. The text is printed from its manuscript source, including numerous, sometimes extensive deletions and variations from the first printed editions. An introduction traces the genesis of the novel and gives an account of its publication and reception. There are also notes, explaining literary, historical and geographical names and allusions, and particular problems of manuscript transmission.
"Cambridge University Press has achieved another major success in its definitive editions of the prolific work of D. H. Lawrence, with the publication of The First and Second Lady Chatterley Novels, edited by Dieter Mehl and Christa Jansohn...this handsome single volume will encourage Lawrence enthusiasts to ponder compelling comparisons between these early versions and perhaps to speculate further on the relevant development of Lawrence's life, art, and doctrine through all three examples of a project that became for him a consuming and palimpsestic saga. The Cambridge publication of the earlier versions no doubt offers an important resource..." English Literature in Transition 1880-1920