DH Lawrence

The 11th International D.H. Lawrence Conference

'Return to Eastwood'

August 16-21, 2007

Nottingham University and Eastwood Hall, Nottinghamshire, UK.

Curiously, I like England again, now I am up in my own regions. It braces me up: and there seems a queer, odd sort of potentiality in the people, especially the common people. One feels in them some odd, unaccustomed sort of plasm twinkling and nascent. They are not finished. And they have a funny sort of purity and gentleness, and at the same time, unbreakableness, that attracts one. 

DHL to Earl Brewster, 30.8.1926

D.H. Lawrence's troubled relations with Eastwood, the place of his birth and the country of his childhood and youth, and with the people amongst whom he grew up, are a constant concern in his life and work. Moreover, just as the writer's popular and critical reputation has fluctuated since his death, so has the nature of the recognition Eastwood has granted to its most famous – or notorious – son.

In 2007, for the first time, the International D.H. Lawrence Conference will be based in Eastwood, with its programme centred in the very locations which Lawrence knew and described in his writing. The conference provides a unique opportunity for scholars and admirers of Lawrence from all over the world to meet and reflect on the continuing significance of this challenging, powerful figure.

In recent years there has been growing acknowledgement of Lawrence's importance in Eastwood, which now boasts, in addition to the refurbished and extended D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum, an impressive Heritage Centre – Durban House – which is located in the very building from which young Bert collected his father's wages. This will be the venue during the conference for some of the delegate paper presentations, lunches, a welcome reception, and a major public exhibition. Delegates will also have exclusive tours of the Birthplace Museum; access to the dedicated Lawrence resource centre at Eastwood Library; and the chance to participate in numerous structured tours and rambles around Lawrence Country.

Delegate accommodation, and many more of the sessions, will be at Eastwood Hall, the home of the Walker family from 1843-71, and the offices of the Barber Walker colliery company from 1917. This impressive location provides the setting for Chapter IV of Mr Noon  and for the last act of Lawrence's play Touch and Go: 'An old park . . . in the back-ground a low Georgian hall which has been turned into offices for the Company'.  The Walkers left, according to Lawrence, because the place was 'too near the ugliness – they were county, you know'. Delegates will have full access to Eastwood Hall facilities, which include bars, a fitness centre (with pool, sauna, tennis), landscaped gardens, wireless networking, and even a small cinema – where a number of Lawrence-related productions will be showing!

Events are also scheduled at several further places of significance to Lawrence scholars: at two of the schools Lawrence attended (Greasley Beauvale School and Nottingham High School); at the Shakespeare Street building of the University of Nottingham (which Lawrence attended from 1906-8); and at the Congregational Chapel on Castle Gate. There will also be activities at the University of Nottingham's D.H. Lawrence Pavilion (including an exhibition curated by Keith Cushman), and in the Manuscripts and Special Collections – recently moved to a stunning new archive and reading room space at the University's new King's Meadow Campus.

On Tuesday, August 21 there will be a bus tour of a number of sites of interest (including such key locations as Cossall, Teversal Manor, and Mountain Cottage), with tour commentaries provided by John Worthen and Peter Preston.

The conference will be interwoven with the annual Eastwood D.H. Lawrence Festival. Delegates are encouraged to come to the area in advance of the opening of the conference to take full advantage of the many events associated with the festival. Walking Tours, Guided Visits of Lawrence sites, Manuscript viewings, etc., may also be scheduled for this period – delegates are encouraged to notify the Conference Director of their travel plans. 'How to Get to Eastwood' details are available here.

The conference has been organised by the University of Nottingham's D.H. Lawrence Research Centre, which was established in 1990 to further the study of Lawrence's work, life and influence. We are grateful for the cooperation and support of a number of organisations and individuals, particularly the D.H. Lawrence Society of North America and the Eastwood D.H. Lawrence Society; D.H. Lawrence Heritage and Broxtowe Borough Council; Experience Nottinghamshire; Nottinghamshire County Council; Nottingham City Council; Nottingham High School.

Please use the links below or to the left of this page to explore further details of 'D.H. Lawrence: Return to Eastwood'. The site also includes an online registration system, ensuring swift and efficient confirmation of your place at the event.

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