D. H. Lawrence expected The Rainbow to have 'a bit of a fight' before it was accepted, but 'The fight will have to be made, that is all'. It was suppressed, just over a month after publication, in November 1915. The American publisher would make thirteen further cuts and 'dribble out' the book quietly. In 1930 the British government would again consider suppressing a new printing of The Rainbow. Professor Mark Kinkead-Weekes gives the composition history and collates the surviving states of the text to assess the damage done to Lawrence's novel, and to provide a text as close to that which the author wrote as is now possible. The final manuscript, revisions in the typescript and the first edition are recorded in full in the textual apparatus so the reader can follow the novel's development and evaluate what outside interference may have done to it. Also included are Explanatory notes to historical references and allusions, and an interior chronology of the book itself.
'A critic must be able to feel the impact of a work of art in all its complexity and force. To do so, he must be a man of force and complexity himself...' 'A critic must be emotionally alive in every fibre, intellectually capable and skilful in essential logic, and then morally very honest.' These comments by D. H. Lawrence are as close a description as any of himself as a critic. They come from his essay on fellow novelist John Galsworthy, and there are many other pieces on novels and novelists in this selection. But Lawrence's range of genres extends to poetry and plays and paintings, and his critical writing encompasses an enormous variety of subjects, from Aeschylus and the Apocalypse to symbolism and syphilis, for his nterests are philosophical , psychological, religious, moral, sociological, historical and cultural as well as literary and artistic. This selection is a treasure-trove of `thought adventures' by one of literature's liveliest critical spirits.
This edition presents the restored text of Lawrence's second novel as he wrote it and includes a substantial introduction to the background of the novel, annotations for references and a discussion of Lawrence's general Wagnerian allusions.