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» more from Bullish on Books with Gloria McDonough-Taub

“Lady Chatterley’s Lover”

By D.H. Lawrence
Publisher: Grove Press

Lawrence’s steamy novel was long considered one of the most extraordinary literary works of the 20th century. Lawrence had, as James Petersen, author of “The Century of Sex: Playboy's History of the Sexual Revolution, 1900-1999,” said, “the sense of swoon.”

Published in 1928, the first edition was printed privately in Florence, Italy, and was banned in the U.S. and England, prompting one of the most spectacular legal battles in publishing history.

The book touched on several taboos: sexual relations between the classes, explicit descriptions of sex and its use of then-unprintable words.

When the book finally went on sale in England on Nov. 10, 1960, the BBC reported bookstores all over the country sold out of “Lady C.” By the end of the day, a total of 200,000 copies were scoffed up. By the end of the year, 2 million copies had been sold in England.

Five months later, the book’s publisher, Penguin, announced it was going public, offering shares oversubscribed 150 times — an obvious consequence of the huge sales achieved by "Lady Chatterley's Lover."

Source: Amazon.com