A group of volunteers is currently working to save iconic Canadian poet Al Purdy’s A-frame cottage, with the intention of turning it into a home for a writer-in-residence program. In a similar vein, well-known figures in the U.K., including Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, Ken Russell, and Rosamund Pike, have banded together in an effort to keep open a Nottinghamshire visitors’ centre dedicated to the work of novelist D.H. Lawrence. Amis et al. are the signatories to a letter sent to the Guardian urging the local council to preserve the centre, which contains copies of Lawrence’s novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover that were used in the book’s obscenity trial.
“We are united in our belief that D.H. Lawrence is one of the world’s most important writers and that he has a unique place in British culture that should be celebrated,” say the protesters. Michael Parkinson, who covered the Chatterley trial as a young reporter, is also concerned about the closure. “It was an extraordinary trial and Lawrence is part of all of our history,” he said.
Durban House, the location of the visitors’ centre, also hosts the annual D.H. Lawrence festival and commemorates the area mining community the author used as the inspiration for his semi-autobiographical novel Sons and Lovers.