Lady Chatterley’s bloomers

This post was written by Friday guest blogger Annie Reid.

Ian Herbert at the Independent reports that the executors of D.H. Lawrence’s estate are outraged at the creation and sale of a new lingerie line named after Lawrence’s infamous literary creation, Lady Chatterley. They have gone so far as to voice their intentions to “write a letter” to the offending parties, “asking them to explain themselves.” Since Lady Chatterley is not a trademark and Lawrence is long dead, no real laws that have been broken, but apparently there is the matter of decency.

Ben MacIntyre, over at the Times online, investigates further, describing the line of erotic garments “in tasteful purple and pink” with matching blindfolds:

None of these items appears in the original 1928 novel, and we can safely assume that D. H. Lawrence would have been appalled to see his book used to sell something so mauve and frilly. Lawrence believed sex was Very Important, and not to be confused with lunch. In Lady Chatterley’s Lover he wrote: “Some things can’t be ravished. You can’t ravish a tin of sardines.” (On the other hand, if you are planning to ravish a tin of sardines, a nice purple satin blindfold is probably quite useful.)

He goes on to examine the phenomenon of commercial literary homages in general — “the back-handed tribute that low commerce pays to high art.” (Please note that he mysteriously excludes the Edgar Allen Poe pizza from this fascinating list.)

For even more on Lawrence, see Benjamin Kunkel’s review of the new Lawrence bio, over at the New Yorker.

On a last note, it is my sad duty to relay that in terms of Lady Chatterley’s undies, the Brits weren’t the first one to think this one up.


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