£700 - £900
V[D H LAWRENCE] GOLDSMITH, OLIVER THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD, JESSIE CHAMBERS' COPY London, Blackie & Son Ltd, c1900, 8vo, signed and dated on the ffe Jessie Jan 29th 1904 and again on the following [list of] Famous Books for Boys & Girls Jessie Chambers Arno Vale Farm Arnold Nottingham, browned throughout, original pictorial scarlet cloth worn on hinges
Jessie Chambers would describe the young writer's formulative years when she and Lawrence were close, perhaps on a level closer than he was to experience in the future, as an "orgy of reading... a sheer revelling in books" (D H Lawrence: A Personal Record by E.T., 1935).
This copy of the Vicar of Wakefield may have been one of the many books that passed between them on Lawrence's frequent visits to the Chambers' family farm, The Haggs, Underwood.
Jessie Chambers (1887-1944) met the 16 year old Lawrence in 1901. The affect of her affection and encouragement with the warmth of the Chambers family in such marked contrast to his upbringing occurred at a pivotal point in Lawrence's emotional and artistic development. Lawrence drew on Jessie Chambers for the character of Miriam in the largely autobiographical Sons and Lovers, published in 1913.
The later signature, dating from slightly after the family's removal to Arno Vale Farm, Nottingham, implies that Jessie Chambers later loaned the book and sought to ensure its return.
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