LONDON, May 14, (Xinhua/GNA) - The British government on Monday imposed an export ban on a
paperback copy of "Lady Chatterley's Lover," a once-scandalous book
in British literature, to help keep it in Britain.
written by D.H. Lawrence, is the British writer's final novel before his death
in 1930. It tells the story of an affair between a wealthy woman and her
husband's gamekeeper, with explicit depictions of sexuality.
copy of the book was used by the judge who presided over the famous 1960
obscenity trial of British publishing house Penguin Books.
prosecuted in 1960 for publishing the uncensored work to test the country's
1959 Obscene Publications Act, which was designed to protect works of
literature while strengthening laws against pornography.
found not guilty in the trial, and the case was seen as a landmark in British
cultural history, which indicated that potentially obscene works could be
published if they were of literary merit or contributed to the public good.
The copy used
by Judge Laurence Byrne in court contains annotations by his wife Dorothy with
a list of page numbers with short content summaries.
were made by the judge himself during the trial. Dorothy also sewed a blue-grey
fabric bag for her husband to carry the book to and from court.
The copy was
then sold to an anonymous overseas bidder for around 73,350 U.S. dollars.
government's Monday decision provides a push to seek out a buyer to keep the
copy in Britain.
of 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' ... was a watershed moment in cultural history,
when Victorian ideals were overtaken by a more modern attitude," British
Arts Minister Michael Ellis said.
that a buyer can be found to keep this important part of our nation's history
in the UK," Ellis said.
prosecution of Penguin Books for publishing 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' was one
of the most important criminal trials of the 20th century.
copy of the novel, annotated by him and his wife, may be the last surviving
contemporary 'witness' who took part in the proceedings," said Hayden
Phillips, chairman of the official reviewing committee which recommended the
be more than sad, it would be a misfortune, if this last surviving 'witness'
left our shores," Phillips said.