THE ENDURING ALLURE OF (THE REAL) LADY CHATTERLEY - APRIL 1 - 3.29PM - 2019
Annabel Abbs - Oxford Martin School - 2.00pm
I’ll be honest, the only reason I chose to attend this particular talk was its subject, Frieda von Richthofen, the lover of D H Lawrence and the inspiration for Lady Chatterley, the book of which forever changed the course of English literature (ie, scandalous, salacious and thus the perfect antidote to a slow afternoon).
However, author Annabel Abbs latest book is not a biography per se but rather a fictionalised history - and thus a novelisation - of Freda’s life.
Much of course has already been written about how Frieda threw off the strictures of marriage and Edwardian society to pursue her tempestuous relationship with the younger writer. So nothing new there. What was fascinating however was just how Abbs chose to write a work of fiction that by definition had to be hugely compromised by its real time source.
Although Frieda was clearly an extraordinary woman, I was more taken by Abbs processes for taking a life well documented and adding to it a multi-layered interpretation of both Frieda’s impulses and those surrounding her.
As a speaker, Abbs is very, very good but perhaps more importantly - as far as this audience was concerned - infectiously enthusiastic, meaning had she written a fictionalised history of say…a 1950s civil servant whose greatest claim to fame upon retirement was never to have taken a day off sick, chances are we’d have been just as enamoured.
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As dazzling as the HAL 9000, as entertaining as Woody Allen - April 1 - 3.37pm - 2022
‘Round like a circle in a spiral…’ - March 31 - 6.15pm - 2022
Food for thought - March 31 - 3.32pm - 2022
Fit for Royalty - March 30 - 3.56pm - 2022
‘A dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind…’ - March 30 - 11.24am - 2022