Lady Chatterley's Lover Trial Papers: DM1679

Book cover

In 1960, to mark the 30th anniversary of D.H. Lawrence’s death, Penguin Books decided to publish seven of D.H. Lawrence’s titles. Included in this list was the unexpurgated edition of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. For having published this book Penguin Books was prosecuted under the new Obscene Publications Act of 1959. Penguin Books was represented at the six-day trial at the Old Bailey by Michael Rubinstein, “the book trade’s lawyer”. On the 2 November 1960, the jury passed a “Not Guilty” verdict.

This collection comprises Michael Rubinstein’s case notes for the trial. It includes proofs; witness statements; correspondence with witnesses and potential witnesses; letters of support and congratulations; material relating to the conduct of the Defence; correspondence concerning the possibility of legal action in Scotland; reviews of Lady Chatterley’s Lover and of H. Montgomery Hyde’s The Lady Chatterley’s Lover Trial (1990); material relating to the definition of obscenity; requests for copies of the trial transcripts; correspondence concerning Michael Rubinstein’s proposed edition of essays entitled Confounded Experts; material relating to the Australian copyright of Lady Chatterley’s Lover and to the Index on Censorship Auction held at Middle Temple Hall on 6 November 1995.

A Surname Index (420 Kb, doc) to DM1679 is available.

A Guide (2,964 Kb, doc) to material held in the Penguin Archive relating to the trial of Lady Chatterley's Lover is available.

Dates of Creation: 1956-1990

Extent: 13 archive boxes

Immediate Source of Acquisition: This collection was given to the University of Bristol Library Special Collections in 1995 by Michael Rubinstein, with additional material given in 2004 by Joy and Hilary Rubinstein.

Access Conditions: Accessible to all bona fide readers. A typescript catalogue is available in Special Collections.

Copyright/Reproduction: Permission to copy material must be obtained from the University of Bristol Library Special Collections.

See also:
C.H. Rolph (ed.) The Trial of Lady Chatterley: Regina v. Penguin Books Limited.  Penguin Special S192, (Penguin, 1961)
H. Montgomery Hyde (ed.) The Lady Chatterley's Lover Trial: Regina versus Penguin Books, Ltd (The Bodley Head Ltd., 1990)
D.H. Lawrence collections held in the Manuscripts & Special Collections at The University of Nottingham
10 November 1960: Lady Chatterley's Lover Sold Out BBC News 'On This Day' webpage

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