He bowed three times to the assembly, who bowed back to him, and then he and the court sat down. After the sheriff and the alderman had disappeared back into their clock, the jury was sworn in—nine men and three women, mostly young-middle-aged to middle-aged people, pleasant-looking and a bit self-conscious as they arranged themselves in the jury box under the scrutiny of so many eyes trying to sort out readers from non-readers, possible liberal minds from those of a more rigid cast.
The usher went along the jury box doling out orange-and-white Penguins all around, and the jurors were later told by the judge to read the book before the court reassembled the following week. The first day was taken up with the opening speeches by the counsels for the prosecution and the defense, and here we were given the two opposing themes of the case, which were to recur day after day and turn up again and again in the testimony of the expert witnesses.
He began by reminding the jury of how the new Obscene Publications Act worked, and then passed on to outlining the book that was to be their weekend reading.
The plot, Mr. Griffith-Jones had been counting them up, too, and his arithmetic rang through the court as baldly as a grocery list—this one thirty times, that one thirteen times, this and that six times each. If the jury registered any shock then, by the end of the case it was clearly regarding the items as neutrally as though they were indeed salt, pepper, or mustard. What the jurors must ask themselves, Mr.
Griffith-Jones said solemnly, was whether they would wish their wives or their servants to read such a book. Now the eighteenth-century portrait stretched to include not only a spaniel but a wife and a row of blooming, mobcapped maidservants, all literate but needing to be sheltered, and in slight bemusement we stared at Mr. Griffith-Jones, who could thus make the centuries roll back from the Old Bailey and leave us with Sir Clifford Chatterley at unchanging Wragby, dressing to go down to dinner.
The prosecution appeared to ally itself a good deal with the Chatterley-Wragby line, I felt as the case went on. First, he spoke of the high repute of Penguin Books and of the history of the firm, going back to its start by a young man called Allen Lane, who thought that a workingman ought to be able to buy a good book for the price of ten cigarettes which in those happy days was sixpence , and ending with its present position of having published two hundred and fifty million books, including the complete Penguin Shakespeare, the Penguin Poets, and the Penguin Classics.
Obviously, Mr. How was it, then, that such a firm was anxious to publish a book that contained all the things on which Mr. Griffith-Jones had been busy with his sums of addition? There were some who felt that D. Lawrence was the greatest English writer since Thomas Hardy, and there was no doubt at all that he was among the five or six greatest; moreover, far from putting promiscuity on a pedestal, his whole private and writing life had been strongly in favor of marriage. Gardiner warned the jurymen and women that they might be shocked by some of the things in the book, but what they must ask themselves was one of the test questions by which the new Parliamentary act was intended to serve the serious writer and reader: Was it likely to corrupt or deprave the weak?
Finally, Mr. They were to continue the reading party on Monday, and, if necessary for slow readers, on Tuesday and Wednesday. The case would be resumed, he said, the following Thursday. When I left the Old Bailey and walked along to Ludgate Hill, where the red buses—the only cheerful things in the gray-flannel afternoon—were pounding down the dip from the great, soaring black statement of St.
One of the jurors, a quick study, had finished his reading on Friday evening, the papers informed us, and all the rest had polished the book off by Monday, so they had a rest before the case started again.
On Thursday morning, they filed into the jury box looking fresh and cheerful. As it turned out, the concentrated course in the art of D. Lawrence that they were about to be put through was quite a gruelling one, and I was not surprised when, after three days of listening to the evidence of eminent witnesses, they looked considerably less fresh and passed on, through Mr. Gardiner, a request to the judge that he tell them, if he could, when there might be hope of an end to the torrent of eloquence.
Griffith-Jones marched from bout to bout, crushing the innocent flowers and scattering his Anglo-Saxon grocery list.
Gardiner invited his witnesses to make when they came into the box, and then to take it apart with sarcasm and righteous wrath. Griffith Jones. A holy [incredulous stress] basis? Did I hear you aright? Well, just let us turn to page so-and-so and pursue this [pause] holy basis a little further. Griffith-Jones, with awful emphasis and the air of imparting some reprehensible rite that would be news to all his listeners, and it was interesting how well the writing stood up to the treatment.
Some of the witnesses were skirted very warily by the prosecution, however. Miss Helen Gardner, the Reader of Renaissance English Literature at the University of Oxford—a lady as brown and as trim as a wren—hopped into the witness box as though onto a twig and cocked a bright and formidable eye at Mr. Griffith-Jones, who treated her with caution. The trouble was, she said, that Lawrence had had absolutely no sense of humor, but he had foreseen that the only partly lived life was taking men in the direction of evil, and, in fact, it had resulted in Hitler and the war.
Griffith-Jones had no questions. On the second day, Mr. Forster was called. There was a stir of excitement along the courtroom benches but noticeably none among the jurors, to whom Wragby was now presumably familiar but who clearly knew not Howards End. Forster, buttoned up to the neck in a long, loose raincoat, entered the box and gave a deep, punctiliously courteous bow to the judge. Had he known D. Yes, he had seen a good deal of him in , and they had kept in touch. Forster waited expectantly to be cross-examined, but nothing happened, so, bowing again, he left the box and headed back to Cambridge.
The witness who most people felt was the most impressive of the lot—Mr. Griffith-Jones hammered at Mr. Hoggart for over an hour with what seemed a strange and special ferocity. Whether the jury was going to give her her sailing papers or order her to be kept in quarantine was hopefully argued that day and every day when we went out for the lunch hour—to the pub across the street or down into the Old Bailey basement cafeteria, where the friends and relatives of people having justice meted out above can refresh themselves with ham rolls or slabs of something encouragingly called gala pie.
The lunch-hour discussions seemed to agree that the aspect of Mr. From the heights where he sat taking notes and turning his fine, thin face attentively upon each witness, he dropped occasional quiet questions like pebbles—small but with an edge. To another witness—Mrs. You can understand that, can you not? Justice Byrne asked crisply. User Reviews. User Ratings. External Reviews. Metacritic Reviews. Photo Gallery. Trailers and Videos.
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Lady Chatterley’s Lover
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Edit Cast Complete credited cast: Sylvia Kristel Lady Constance Chatterley Shane Briant Sir Clifford Chatterley Nicholas Clay Oliver Mellors Ann Mitchell Ivy Bolton Elizabeth Spriggs Lady Eva Pascale Rivault Hilda Peter Bennett Field Anthony Head Anton Frank Moorey The Priest Bessie Love Flora John Tynan Roberts Michael Huston Footman Fran Hunter Maid Michael Ryan Gigolo as Ryan Michael Mark Colleano Edit Storyline A film adaptation of D.
Taglines: She was trapped in a loveless marriage. He was her husband's servant. Language: English.