Keep this key piece of social history in the UK

£7,068 of £56,250 goal

Raised by 71 people in 8 days
The 1960 obscenity trial of Lady Chatterley’s Lover was one of the most important cases in British literary and social history, and led to a significant shift in the cultural landscape. The trial highlighted the distance between modern society and an out-of-touch establishment, shown in the opening remarks of Mervyn Griffith-Jones, the lead prosecutor:

“Would you approve of your young sons, young daughters – because girls can read as well as boys – reading this book?

“Is it a book that you would have lying around in your own house? Is it a book that you would even wish your wife or your servants to read?”

The book was published in Europe in 1928, but remained unpublished in the UK for thirty years following DH Lawrence’s death in 1930. Its narrative - of an aristocratic woman embarking on a passionate relationship with a groundskeeper outside of her sexless marriage - challenged establishment sensibilities, and publishers were unwilling to publish it through fear of prosecution.

However, it took the jury just three hours to reach a decision that the novel was not obscene, and, within a day, the book sold 200,000 copies, rising to more than 2 million copies in the next two years. The verdict was a crucial step in ushering the permissive and liberal sixties and was an enormously important victory for freedom of expression.

During the trial, the presiding judge, the Hon. Sir Laurence Byrne, referred to a copy of the book which had been annotated by his wife, Lady Dorothy Byrne. She had made notes of character names in the margins, underlined important sections, and had produced a list of page numbers relating to significant passages in the book (“love making”, “coarse”, etc).

This hand-annotated copy, which played an important part in an even more important trial, was recently sold at auction to an overseas bidder for £56,250.

Because of its unique importance in British history, the arts minister, Michael Ellis, has determined that it should remain in the UK, and has placed a temporary bar preventing its overseas export if a UK-based bidder can match its price.

English PEN works to support freedom of expression both in the UK and around the world. We believe that this historic artefact is of unique value and should remain in the UK, allowing the British public access to understand what is lost without freedom of expression.

Our aim is to raise £56,250 to keep this copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover in the UK. We will work with relevant organisations including the British Library and Arts Council England to identify an organisation who can house this artefact and guarantee its preservation.

If we are unable to secure the purchase of the book, any money we raise will go towards supporting the work of English PEN and defending freedom of expression, fighting for writers and readers around the world, or be returned to the donor at their request.

We want to ensure this piece of our cultural history remains in the UK. Please support us.
+ Read More
'I do not regard Lady Chatterley’s Lover as obscene, and I should regard its suppression as deplorable'

- TS Eliot in a letter dated 19 August 1960 to Sir William Emrys Williams, then Editor in Chief at Penguin Books.

So grateful to everyone supporting our fundraiser to keep the judge's copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover accessible to the public! Special thanks to the TS Eliot Estate for their very generous contribution and to the team at 89up for all their support. Please do keep spreading the word.
+ Read More

£7,068 of £56,250 goal

Raised by 71 people in 8 days
Funds raised will benefit:
The English Centre of PEN
Certified Charity
+ Learn More
London, London
Charity Number: 1125610
How it Works
  1. You are donating to PayPal Giving Fund UK, a registered charity (No. 1110538), which will email you a receipt for your donation and claim Gift Aid where eligible.
  2. GoFundMe’s platform is free. The charity will typically receive the funds from PayPal Giving Fund within 15-45 days of your donation if the charity has enrolled (or 90 days if the charity has not yet enrolled). Unlike other platforms, 100% of any Gift Aid will go to the charity as well.
* In very limited cases, a recommended charity may cease to meet PayPal Giving Fund's legal or other eligibility requirements. In such cases, PayPal Giving Fund will reassign the funds to a similar charity, and (wherever possible) seek a new recommendation from donors.
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
   Connect
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
SK
£10
S. A. Kelly
22 hours ago
FM
£5
Friederike Mussgnug
1 day ago
EW
£30
Emma Wadsworth-Jones
1 day ago
RR
£20
Ravinder Randhawa
1 day ago
CL
£10
Cat Lucas
1 day ago
£50
Anonymous
1 day ago
RS
£50
Rowena Skelton-Wallace
2 days ago
HN
£30
Heather Norman-Soderlind
4 days ago
CW
£10
catherine ward
4 days ago
MM
£20
Michael Mosbacher
5 days ago
or
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a £5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.