I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

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Birds, beasts and flowers

Gerald Dawe
The Cambridge Edition of the Works of D H Lawrence: The Poems (Vols I & II), edited by Christopher Pollnitz, Cambridge University Press, 1,425 pp, £130 ISBN: 978-0521294294 It is as well to begin with the extraordinary record, not solely of DH Lawrence (1885-1930) but also of The Cambridge Edition of the Letters and Works of D H Lawrence, which, according to Christopher Pollnitz’s introduction to his glorious two-volume edition of Lawrence’s poems is now (almost) at an end. One final poetry volume (a third) remains to be published which will include Lawrence’s “uncollected and unpublished poems, together with a variorum apparatus and comprehensive manuscript listing”. When it is finished [Pollnitz writes], this edition of Lawrence’s will complete the Cambridge Edition … which issued its first two volumes, Vol.1 of The Letters andApocalypse from the Works, in 1979. The Cambridge Edition has published in total eight volumes of The Letters of D H Lawrence as well as a Selected Letters. When complete, the Works will number thirty-nine volumes, including Lawrence’s twelve novels, four volumes of early versions of novels, eight volumes of short fiction, three volumes of poetry, one volume of plays, three volumes of essays, four travel books with other travel essays, and four volumes of non-fiction prose. In such ways, the Cambridge Edition celebrates not only the extraordinary range of Lawrence’s work but also one of the great achievements of twentieth century writing in English. The Cambridge University Press has, in a word, produced a masterpiece of book production and under the editorial board with general editor James T Boulton fulfilled a huge challenge of cultural significance that, in the more than three decades of continual production, has secured Lawrence’s writing as scholarly text, human artefact and as literary document. Anyone genuinely interested in literature will praise this as a magnificent achievement in its own right given the economics of book production and the invidious commercial pressures with which serious publishers of all kinds are currently facing. It is only when one looks at the sheer range of Lawrence’s writing during a relatively brief life (dying of TB atforty-four) that was characterised from 1912 onwards when he was in his late twenties, with ceaseless travel (within England and throughout Europe, North America, Australia, Ceylon and Mexico) and ongoing struggles with publishers, agents, misunderstandings and disaffection from friends as well as foes, real and imagined, ‑ when all this is put upon the shoulders of a…



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