Go to the home page for Odour of Chrysanthemums, a text in process

Critical materials: 'Odour of Chrysanthemums'

From Keith Cushman, D. H. Lawrence at Work: The Emergence of the Prussian Officer Stories (University Press of Virginia, 1978), 47-76. We are very grateful to Professor Cushman for permission to republish this piece.


The Hopkin Proofs

In June 1914 Duckworth agreed to publish a collection of twelve Lawrence short stories at the end of the year. 'Odour of Chrysanthemums' is among the tales Lawrence recast most thoroughly early the following month. Further revision in proof took place sometime in the autumn of the same year. However, all the evidence demonstrates that Lawrence finally 'discovered' his story while making the July revisions. A comparison between the version in the Hopkin proofs (the July revision) and the Prussian Officer text reveals a certain amount of minor verbal alteration, especially in the first ten pages, and some more significant changes in wording of the story's powerful conclusion. However, the meaning of the story— and the meaning Mrs. Bates finds in her marriage—is the same in both the July Hopkin proofs and the final text. At best a few of the revisions in proof intensify portions of the conclusion. Consequently, in an effort to avoid muddying the waters, I will devote most of my argument to the final version, with only a few glances at the text found in the Hopkin proofs.

© Keith Cushman
February 2010

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